The Tool Box

All tools tell a story.


The tools lay before her, a hodgepodge to any other eye, but to hers and in her hands, a series of instruments worthy of any surgeon.

A set of files, venerable and well used, a clamp so old it belonged in a museum, a wooden handle to fit the files, a series of drill bits, a router bit, a couple screw drivers, a chuck key and an Allen wrench, all the necessary accoutrements to build herself a man, for that is what she intended.

She intended to build herself a man. She’d been working on him a long time. These tolls would complete the job. She’d have herself a man to her own specifications. The stature would be about six feet tall, maybe a little taller. That would compliment her height. She wanted to be able to look him in the eye. He’d be made of wood. She could get wood easier and cheaper than concrete or stone. Wood had certain other advantages, lighter weight and easier to work. It seemed warm and brought back pleasant memories and could be burned to ash if it did not satisfy completely. She could cremate her man and start all over again. She would make him tall and handsome and rippling with muscles. She’d carve him just right. He would take her in his arms and kiss her and they would kiss a long time, but of course for this his lips and face had to be perfect. She would accept nothing less. So she fashioned him over a long period of time. Months turned into years and she took him through several permutations, easier though than working with any real man. She could be an artist with wood, but nothing but a woman to any man. His legs had to be stately and strong. His hips were narrow, his waist a true curve inward to incorporate a flat stomach and tight buttock and his back broad to accommodate any weight, including her own should he be compelled to carry her to safety. He had to be heroic. He had to climb mountains. His arms had to be strong and capped by hands like talons, his neck atop his shoulders brought his head to rest with perfect grace. She modeled his face after the profile on a Greek coin she found in a shop and she paid a lot of money for that coin. His manhood presented itself without an obligatory fig leaf. She declared herself to be a modern woman with that glorious appendage to whom modesty meant nothing. She did, in fact, often work nude in her studio and finished the project unclothed as she gave no clothes to the perfect man she had created.

Astonished by her own creativity on this glum overcast day, she laid aside her tools when she had finished and marveled at what seemed to be no so much a representation as a companion, a living soul on the order of Pygmalion, a creation come to life in answer to her prayers. She lived a solitary life, a lone existence. Suddenly the creative impulse took her beyond the moment and she saw that while the image of this man would never live in her life, she might live in the image of the life she had created.

She got down on her knees and she began to worship, kneeling before this perfect representation of her own perfect need. She became then and there after years of seeking life and faith in other people’s theology a pagan, worshipping not a god in their or her own image, but the image of a god to whom she had herself given birth and since only God could give birth or create inspiration, she committed no apostasy, no heresy and no sacrilege. She merely worshipped for the first time in her life completely and honestly as God created her, original, entitled to eternity and free.

There is one more tool in the box. I know it is there without looking and even if I did look and found it in the box where I knew it would be I could not tell you exactly what it looks like or how you as an individual should use it, because it presents a different function each and every time it is needed and sought. It is never misplaced or lost or stolen. You will find it every time you look. It is the tool which is most closely associated with the meaning of life and happiness and joy and accomplishment. It lies at the bottom of the tool box under all the other tools waiting for any man or woman to pick it up and use it, often and most frequently as the last resort. The name of the tool is faith. When you come upon it you will know it, though you have no formal training and you will not be able to see it even when you touch it or take it into your hands, because it is invisible. It has no weight or heft. It is extraordinarily sharp, but it will not hurt you. It is one of the few tools you can use, perhaps the only tool that cannot be used against you by accident or mistake. It will manifest itself immediately in the manner by which you conduct yourself with it and subsequently with all the other tools in the box which you apply to the task you have been given. Do your best. You have been hired to work, not rest. You have been entrusted with an assignment, to complete a portion of the overall project. It’s your responsibility. Don’t shirk or shrug or loaf or try to hide shoddy workmanship with bravado or design. When you take faith you take the most fundamental, time tested and proven tool ever created for use by man. Your work will not be judged simply because you used it, but by how well you used it, how far you took the capabilities of the tool as you applied it to both yourself and the attendant disciplines of your craft. There are only so many hours in a day and fewer hours still in anyone’s shift. I’m ready when you are and by faith I was born ready.