Ministry Through Woodwork

We know that our God is a Creator God, and we know that He created mankind in His image.  Just those two facts tell us a lot about God’s story.  Let’s open up His story just a little bit.  I’d like to launch with two scripture passages.  

All of Psalm 139 is so beautifully intimate as to God’s relationship with each of us, but there is one portion of it that I would like to draw attention to:

For you formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being formed in secret, and intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were appointed for me, when as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].

Psalm 139: 13-16

This passage is true for each of us, though we were going to be born into a fallen world.  It is almost as though God saw the possibility of redemption from sin with each person as He knit them together.  Much to ponder here!

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

Philippians 1:6

This verse points to a redeemed life, the one that God had in mind when He knit each individual together.  Jesus transferred us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light when we trust in what He did for us on the cross.  The Holy Spirit enters us when we trust, and our new journey is begun and will continue until Jesus returns. 

Our redeemed journey, then, takes all of our genetics, our passions, our joys, our giftedness, our griefs, our experiences and uses those things to bring about a joyous and abundant life, lived in the fullness God intends.

Member Spotlight: Ed Gaunt

I had a delightful conversation with Ed and Carol Gaunt a week ago as they shared Ed’s journey in working with wood.  Both of Ed’s grandfathers worked with wood, and Ed, as a youngster followed them around and watched them at work.  As Ed chose a career path, he studied and worked in the very precise field of biochemistry.

About 2006, Ed and Carol went to the North Carolina mountains and met a dulcimer shop keeper who made and delighted in dulcimers.  Ed was intrigued and purchased a dulcimer kit to put together.  In working with the kit, he came to realize that he could make dulcimers outright.  

Now another thing to know about Ed is that he loves wood; he loves the history of pieces of wood and often shares a finished work back into the person involved with that history.  Ed has, since that dulcimer kit, made dulcimers out of discarded church pews, pieces of an old tobacco barn from Carol’s family’s property in Virginia, fence posts, and more.

Since his retirement in 2015, Ed has more time to devote to taking old things and either restoring or creating new things from them.

  • He called the music director at Githens Middle School and asked if he had broken instruments that needed to be mended.  He has restored a cello and several violins back to be used again by students in the music department.
  • We know of the beautiful communion table that Ed built for the church. Study it closely when you have a chance, and you can see the bow-tie pieces of wood that he inserted into the cracked wood to hold it together.  
  • A wonderful, generous story from Ed is about the headboard that is now recently on the bed frame of Adam and Olivia Enggasser.  Adam and Olivia met at the Battle House in Chapel Hill.  The Battle House is undergoing a drastic renovation.  The hardwood floors were removed.  Ed was able to acquire that wood from the floors. Working together with Adam and Olivia, they fashioned a beautiful headboard from the Battle House.

Ed says that he loves to bring wood back to life and to bring out its life.  Ed is being creative in the same way that God is creative.  I am struck that neither Ed’s nor God’s creation are placed on display to be looked at.  In both cases, they are put to use to share truth and beauty.