Kind of Like a Carpenter

Dec 23, 2011 by

Kind of Like a Carpenter

Christmas.  During this time of year, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus . . . an incarnation of God, in human form; humble, manger born, poor, a carpenter.  Despite his humble upbringing, his message of love, hope, peace, and grace still rings beautifully around the world, beyond his time on this earth, and farther than he every physically traveled while here, walking upon it.

Such a powerful message through such modest means.

I believe that God still speaks, often using the same subtle tactics as employed through a child, born among barn animals, to unrefined parents.  Less bullhorn, more whisper.

Walking the streets of downtown Seattle with friends this past weekend, I think I thought I heard him.

“Shoe shine!”  Anyone who walks Pine St. downtown has at least heard that call.  “Shoe shine!”  It’s said in a gruff, almost intimidating way, like a quarterback calling plays at the line of scrimmage.  Instead of “Down. Seeeeeeet.  Hut!” it’s  “Shoe shine!”  I, myself, have never stopped for a shoe shine, but, from now on, I think I will.

Happily wading through the Christmassy spirit that has pervaded Seattle’s downtown, some visiting friends and I walked near the “Shoe Shine” man and, instead of passing right by, my girlfriend decided to stop to get her boots shined.  The next several minutes were filled with absolutely engaging banter, funny narratives about the merits of a well shined shoe, and anecdotal relationship advice, all during what would end up being a hell of a shoe shine.  I looked down at the brown skinned, white bearded, joyful face of the man regaling us and asked, “what your name, dude?”  His bright eyes looked up at me and said, “Eddie” through his toothless grin.  “What’s yours?”

“I’m Nicole,” I responded.

Then, out of the clear blue, he proclaimed. “Well, I can see you are a singer.”  His eyes twinkled, a bit mischievously.

What?  Huh?  “What did you say?”

“You’re a good singer, huh!”

Nervous now.

In two seconds I span my past year in Seattle and can come up with no rational reason Eddie might be saying this to me.  I exchange a teary-eyed glance with my friend who knows how painful this year of musiclessness has been for me, and then I clumsily excuse myself from Eddie to go gather my emotions before they run away from me and I, them.

I miss singing.  I miss music.  I miss a band.  I miss a mic.  I miss songwriting.  I miss . . . I miss . . . I miss.

For all of the “missing” I’ve done, it warmed my heart that something of what I used to do and used to be was still obvious to the little, scruffy prophet hustling his craft on the street.  God, shining shoes.  Perhaps, one day, I will sing again.  From Eddie, I experienced a little bit of love, hope, peace, and grace.

Such a powerful message through such modest means.

Peace and Blessings,

Nicole Walters

Related Posts


Share This

Leave a Reply