FAITH IS A HAMMER

While working outside, I pulled a nail from a pocket of my old pair of work jeans.  As I continued to attack my weekend chores, I’d stop every now and then to pull out that nail.  With memories still fresh from attending Sunday morning church, the nail now laying in the palm of my hand sent my imagination reeling back to a rocky hill over 2000 years ago.  With each hammer strike matched by a painful moan, I stood paralyzed contemplating the invisible while more blood was shed that day…shed for me.   Love was redefining itself in front of my eyes as it held tight to the nails of every sin. 

I put the nail back in my pocket and thought about that hammer.  Realizing the bittersweet necessity of pegging this innocent victim to open the floodgates of Christianity.  Sometime after church, the words “Faith is a hammer” found a restless home in my heart.   I didn’t read these four words but were given them in a way I can’t explain.   As a these four words became surrounded in poetry, a sense of humility grasped me – like the innocent hands that held those nails so long ago.  Understanding the accomplished work atop of Calvary by Jesus was like a lamp to the works that still await my efforts.   Confronting the necessity of perfect love so that sacrifice is complete stirs my restless heart and broken pride to regard a faith without works is really no faith at all.  However the hammer once used to destroy the innocent life of Jesus, has now become my humble tool of faith used to build another up in hope and love.  If faith is a hammer, then it must transfer its energy in humility, in gratitude, and above all – in love.

His Peace,

Chris

FAITH IS A HAMMER

Faith is a hammer,
Until the Perfect comes.
Nails of my remorse,
Plunge through palms of God’s Son.
Perfect Love completes –
What I have left undone.

Faith is a hammer,
That shatters through my fear.
Pounding out rhythms,
Where love and hope appear.
His song soon unfolds,
My heart beats loud and clear.

Faith is a hammer,
That bangs a grateful drum.
Fear flees from its sound
And cowers under thumb.
Yeah…Faith is a hammer,
Until the Perfect comes.

 

©2011 By Chris Clody 9/19/11

 

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8 thoughts on “FAITH IS A HAMMER

  1. When I read the headline I immediatly thought of one of my favorite novels – Wiseblood by Flannery O’Connor. Thank you Chris for this thought: “I put the nail back in my pocket and thought about that hammer. Realizing the bittersweet necessity of pegging this innocent victim to open the floodgates of Christianity.”

  2. How perfect these words describe the Faith we chase. Human beings driven by sin, seek redemption from those hands whose forgiveness freely flows. Having picked up the hammer, I know that I have struck the nail head. Yet, I am foregiven by an enduring love. I am foregiven.

  3. Chris, I think you ‘nailed it on the head’ (pun intended). When I think of the definition of faith penned by the writer of Hebrews, “Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for; the CONVICTION of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), it reminds us that the nail couldn’t have penetrated that sinless hand, unless it was driven in by the hammer. We can be assured that our sins were nailed to the cross, along with our Savior, & when He died, our sins died with Him. And as the Apostle John convicted us of this truth when he wrote that we could be assured of our salvation, because of what he wrote about Jesus dying for our sins on Calvary (1 John 5:13). Just as a judge drops his gavel when a person is convicted of a crime, assuring us of their sentence, when we realize the moment that hammer struck through His skin, we are assured of HIS conviction & sentence that He took for us, because there is nothing else God would accept from us, which would satisfy His wrath for us sinning against Him. That is the faith that saves us, only available to us by God’s grace, & not of ourselves (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    • Great insights Steve. Truly the capacity of those final words, “It is accomplished,” tore the veils of both the visible and invisible. It is my quest to further grasp this saving work, which redefines our shallow concept of love. Love is a verb, an action – a grateful response to the gospel. Love is redefined in our understanding of Faith as works of love towards God and neighbor that hang as ripened fruit to the curious of this noble faith in Christ. Works of love will follow us to Heaven and be purified to reflect true worth within the flames of God’s will. No creature could accomplish what was done on Calvary, yet God, in His infinite Mercy and wonder, invites us to partake of His Grace towards our salvific journey in the assurance of things hoped for. Despite the immediate sorrow and regret of the Holy Spirit’s unseen conviction of our sins, those very nails accepted by Jesus for our atonement, we soon rejoice in this mercy that lights the lamp of our assured hope. Someday beyond faith and hope we’ll see ourselves as we truly are and finally know the power and necessity of love. ’til then my friend, may God have mercy on us.
      Peace,
      Chris

  4. I am in my hotel room in Bangkok and the faith we take for granted is not so evident here. The encounter from a US non believer who is mostly a believer that is too lazy or apathetic or too busy or just fill in the blanks is replaced by people that do not have any idea who the Lord is. In my hotel lobby is a bunch of “special stones” in glass cases and people are standing over them with arms outstretched – they promise wealth, freedom from bad luck, and other sorts of good things if only you outstretch your arms and absorb the energy – it starts in your left arm and radiates throughout your body, if only you take the time to pause and absorb its healing powers. Is being a Christian as easy as holding our outstretched arms over a rock and meditating, venerating, praying, and believing?

    • Thanks for sharing with us Jim! Truly, this is the numbing reality of the “lost” ever seeking without direction. In my heart I believe they are seeking truth but no not where to find it. You bring up what appears to be a controversial point on what it means to be “Christian” in simply just believing. The answer is yes…and no. Believing in judiacal context, is not some mental ascent but also includes pursueing an active lifestyle that was obedient to the wants of God for our life. Sadly, this working aspect of faith has been demonized as “earning salvation” which is not only a misunderstanding but against the teachings of Jesus. I am convinced that of the three cord rope composed of faith, hope and love is what pulls us towards our saintly journey. However, it is love alone that outlasts everything. So what is love? Calvary has been described as “The Academy of Love” in which perfect love offered complete sacrifice. Love is by what we will be judged upon…not so much our words (remember “Lord, Lord…didn’t we prophesize in your name?”). Understanding God’s definition of Love goes far beyond a scriptural knowledge since it summarizes AND fulfills the 10 commandments in our RESPONSE towards God and neighbor. Love becomes works of love that cast out Truth in its dance of faith and works. We will not grasp God’s love until we see ourselves as we really are…until then, understanding love, faith and works is dimly seen through our selfish nature. Thankfully, we are given the gift of wonder and awe that allows us to find the merits won for us on Calvary by Christ simply irresistable.
      JIm you have the motivation of a restless soul for God to share the Good News with those seeking. Maybe you could approach this group and say, “Did you know even these rocks will cry out and praise the One True God of infinite wealth and favor but more than that…Our God of the Bible loves you.”
      My prayers follow you friend.
      He lives,
      Chris

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