On Table Saws

Who’d have thought a table saw would serve as a metaphor for marriage? But that’s what happened recently.

If you’d have stopped over at our house late last Friday you might have caught Tim and I in the garage, wrestling with some sheets of oak plywood. We’d decided to try a novel (i.e. cheap) approach to getting hardwood floors on our boys’ bedroom. The first step was to rip the plywood into wide planks with a powersaw. Power tools scare me, but Tim assures me that woodworking is not that different from sewing. Some people worry about sewing needles through their thumbs, he says. I just fear slicing off a finger or maybe my arm with power tools. Give me a simple sewing machine and rotary cutter any day.

So we took our stations: Tim at the feeding end of things, and me at the receiving end. I tried to help the wood along, figuring that might speed things along. After a bit Tim gently said, “Anne, you’re there just to support the wood. Let me guide it. You can’t see from your position, but when you pull it along you put torque on it, and the cut goes askew.” Ahhh. Now I understood what I was supposed to be doing with the wood. But even as he said it, my mind immediately jumped to the ways in which I am tempted to try to steer things in our marriage. My job is to be Tim’s helpmeet. Just as a table saw doesn’t work when two people try to guide the wood, neither does a marriage when two are pulling.

Saturday Tim laid the wood. He used brass screws to fasten it and it has a rustic, general store look, which fits in well in our farmhouse. I like it. But between some boards there is a gap which wouldn’t be there if I had performed my job properly. Maybe the next time I’m tempted to take on the leader role, I’ll have to walk into the boys’ room and look at my new visual aid.

Genesis 2: 18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.


mrsd said…
try a novel (i.e. cheap) approach

Creative. :)
Hikingalong said…
Thank you so much for this post. It really touched my heart. I've been trying to "steer the wood" for a long time in my marriage and I need to remember that God designed me to be the helper instead. God bless you and thanks again for your sweet post.

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