Christmas Short Stories
The Master’s Craft Flooring Company
One of my all-time favorite projects for The Master’s Craft Flooring Company, this is a series of three narratives they used in their Christmas communications. I love the rich allegory between trees, flooring, and the Christmas Story, but more so that such a meaningful message was shared.
Of Love and Trees
Today we’re going to tell a story. It is a story dear to the heart of many of us at The Master’s Craft, and we hope it is near to your heart as well. It is a story of love and life illustrated time and again through history, with trees in the supporting role.
It begins with two trees. One was the tree of life. The other bore the forbidden fruit that unlocked the knowledge of good and evil… something the first couple were blissfully unaware of until they gave in to temptation. The world hasn’t been the same since.
The story continues with gopher wood. The world was evil and God sent a flood. The wooden ark housed two of every animal along with a family saved from the waters.
There was the time when a man named Abraham climbed up a mountain with his promised son. The wooden sticks were laid down to sacrifice Isaac upon, but that was not the plan. God provided a substitute.
With no room in the inn for the census, a young couple spent the evening in the stables where a baby was born and laid in a wooden feeding trough.
A young boy learned how to craft wood into useful and beautiful things. The trade he learned was carpentry, but that wasn’t the ultimate calling for his life.
Out in a wooden fishing boat, on the sea, the winds and waves raged. Panic arose with the men who were on this boat; well, all but one. All he had to do was say, “Peace, be still,” and the winds and rain obeyed.
It was a cruel punishment, but many were executed in the Roman Empire on crosses made of wood. The carpenter boy who grew up to teach, who could command the storm to be still, hung on that cross.
In this act of love, Christ became the one who would absolve the curse that resulted from the forbidden fruit. He was the ark that sheltered us from the wrath of a holy God. Christ took it on himself to be the substitute laid on the pile of sticks, the required sacrifice to satisfy the payment for sin. That day the truest love story was told, forgiveness and love nailed on a tree.
Most stories have a happy ending, and this one certainly does when love becomes our tree of life. The Master Craftsman reveals his story to us with the beauty of his own creation. This is our story at The Master’s Craft, a story of love and trees.
If you look at someone’s hands, it tells you a lot about the work they do. If you see hands that are lean and strong, with grease and dirt here and there, and even a scar or two, it may be that they are a floorman. It is those hands that push the sander, swings the mallet, and grips the nailer. Those hands do the work that transforms a room.
So many floors lose their glory with the grime and hazards that people bring to its surface. All that is stripped away with each pass of the sander. Starting with the rough grit, the floorman uncovers the bare wood. If there are repairs, he replaces boards and fills in hollow spots with putty. There’s more sanding to smooth and blend and finally the stain and finish with plenteous coats so the floor will sparkle and shine for many years. The work is telling of the skill of the floorman’s skill.
There’s another floorman whos craft is that of restoration. You see, there is a corrosive force in life that leaves our hearts scratched, broken, and dirty. It takes this floorman to strip, repair, and clean up the mess that has been made. Everyone of us need this restorative work and the only one who can do the repair and restoration of a heart scarred with sin has to be a master at this craft.
So when you look at this floorman’s hands, you’ll see that they touched the physically broken and brought healing. These hands broke bread and multiplied it to feed the crowds that were hungry for food and to hear his words. And if you look at these hands, you’ll see scars where the nails were driven through to accomplish his ultimate work. The hands of the master floorman bring about the most important type of repair, healing, and restoration… not to a floor, but to our hearts.
Marked by a Nail
There was a tree that was marked by a nail. The heart wood of this tree was incredibly strong and throughout it’s rings of growth there was not a single blemish. You couldn’t tell this from the exterior as it looked like every other tree.
This particular tree didn’t accumulate many growth rings, not compared to the others. Only a few decades worth. But that was sufficient because this unblemished tree had a singular purpose.
Oh, but in those few short decades many ate the fruit, and found refuge and healing in the shade of the tree’s boughs. Even though it looked like all the other trees, many people knew it was different, that the heart was strong and the wood pure.
One day the harvest came for this tree. Nails were hammered, the bark sliced, the sap ran out. Some anguished because the time was too soon, that a tree so strong and pure should remain in its spot in the ground bearing fruit and providing shade.
It is hard to understand, but for this tree, its greatest beauty was revealed after the nails were driven through the bark and the tree felled. For three days there was silence, everyone mourning the loss. However, one morning the mystery of the tree with the strong heart and pure wood was revealed– a masterpiece, only recognizable by the marks from the nails.
This was the tree of life, Christ. There were only a few decades of life and ministry for him, a death too soon and seemingly unjust with life and blood drained on the cross. His strength and pureness was the only thing that could redeem our sinful hearts and blemished lives. All this driven in by nails.
Three days revealed the mystery, the masterpiece of a risen savior. The marks upon this tree reveal its life and purpose was for us and our redemption. This is the tree with a strong heart and pure wood that gives us life. And you know the tree of life, our living savior, because he is the one marked by a nail.