“Hit your thumb again, son?”
Joseph went over to his young son who had recently started his apprenticeship as a carpenter. Young Jesus waved his hand before clutching it, watching His finger bruise and swell. The nail He had tried to put in was bent over, Jesus gave the nail a dirty look and went to pull the nail from the wagon he was trying to help build with his good hand.
“No, no, son. Here.” Joseph ordered, motioning Jesus to step aside.
With one end of the hammer he yanked the nail from the side of the board much like a lever. A couple of splinters of wood and a hole were left at the side.
“Father! These nails keep moving around when I try to hammer them, how can I keep them straight?”
Joseph tapped the hammer a few times where the hole was, holding the nail carefully. After a few taps it was secure enough to hammer in with a few good whacks. Jesus folded his young arms and observed.
“You have to tap it first. If you hit it too hard the first time around, you bend the nail, splinter the wood, and hurt yourself.” Joseph explained.
“Why can’t I just do it in one blow?” Jesus whined.
“ Nails and wood alone are such fragile things… but together they can make something strong enough to last a journey from Egypt to Rome. That is why we must make sure they stay together by taking our time with our craft. Otherwise we have to keep reapplying nails because the wagon will keep falling apart..”
The young Jesus looked at the bent nail that Joseph had taken out and started rubbing his wrists. He then took a look at his swelled thumb and looked a little sad before looking up to his father.
“I just wish we can get this over with… but I understand that we need to get it done right.” Jesus replied.
Joseph smiled and laughed with his son, picking Him up and roughing up His hair. Jesus couldn't stop giggling as his father made him forget the sadness he felt moments before.
“You are always in such a rush, my son! You can go play with your cousin after we finish up here” Joseph said. “Now come, let us bandage that thumb! Your mother might have a fit, this is the third time this week. Does something trouble you about being a carpenter?”
Jesus looked down from his father's arms for a moment and shrugged.
"I just want to make my father proud right now."
"Bah! Our dear God took six days to make the world and nine months to bring you from your mother's womb. If our dear God takes His time with His work, why shouldn't we?"
Jesus thought back about the time he snuck away from his mother and father in order to go preach in the temple. Biting His lower lip, he just rested his head on His father’s shoulder as he was carried back to his house.
“You’re right, father. I’m sorry I rushed.”
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