Hammers and Nails

Hammers and Nails

by Sr. Helen McKenna MMM                                         Ireland/Tanzania                                     05.05.2024

Hammers and nails were so much a part of your life
The smell of sawdust greeted your nostrils every day
Often you’d have helped your father maybe with the plane or lathe
How did you manage the handsaw?
Did you delight in making a table or chair,
You who created the world?

As I sit here in Africa amidst the wood shavings
Enjoying the Sabbath, all is still.
And as I look at the carpenter’s bench
And homemade ladder, it strikes me …
Hammers and nails were so much part of your life
And yet they were the tools that put an end to it.

How the young lads love to carve their name on a piece of wood.
Jesus, the King of the Jews, they wrote.
The wood, they didn’t bother to prepare
No shaving or cutting, no planning
Just as it was, maybe still growing, they used it.

How often you’d enjoyed joining the wood together
At the bang of a hammer.
Here now it’s you that’s being joined – hands to wood – for me.
Mary was the carpenter’s wife but queen,
You were the carpenter’s son and Messiah.