Not many considered what he did a craft yet he made a living doing it. And if it weren’t a craft then why did they always come to him to make one? Why didn’t they just build one for themselves or ask someone else?
He thought about this as he abandoned the road for the sanctity of the forest, the only place where he could find a tree worthy of his craft.
The donkey with its cart followed along as it was led until the man stopped.
He was a carpenter by trade yet he wasn’t much at cutting down trees. However, he needed trees for the work he did so he did the best he could with his ax.
It took him nearly all morning.
The long cart loaded down, he headed out of the forest and back to his shop. Along the way he passed more then a few travelers. He was aware they knew him and his craft by the way they responded to seeing him on the road and the trees on his cart.
The men shook their heads. Some looked away in disgust, others in pity. The women came close to vomiting. One of the younger ones actually did.
It didn’t bother him though. Not anymore.
Once back home, he began to work right away. They needed three by tomorrow afternoon. He knocked two out rather quickly.
As he worked on the third and final one though, he found himself caught up.
And it stunned him.
This one had to be different. He would take more time with it. He would put more effort into making it. It would be his best work ever.
It would be perfect.
He didn’t know where the feeling came from, didn’t understand. Yet he worked harder on it than he’d ever worked on anything in his life. He worked until his hands and knuckles bled. He worked through the night.
At dawn, he took it out front and leaned it next to the other two. Then backed up to morbidly admire his handiwork, these instruments of death.
When the Romans came by later to pick up what he’d made, he took their money.
“That’s a fine piece of work,” one said noting the third cross. “That’s some craftsmanship! I’d say it was fit for a King.”
They all had a good laugh at that.
He watched them load what he'd made and stared as they headed off, admired how those who they passed on their way up the road studied his craft with disdain.
He could not hide his smile.
He’d done well.
Jesus said 'Should anyone come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.' Matthew 16:24
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