“…who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.” (Psalms 113:6-8 NIV)
Isn’t it amazing how you can hear or read a story a hundred times and yet when you hear it again you learn something new? That happened to me recently when I reread the story below.
In the Middle Ages a man journeyed to where they were building a new church in a distant city. He saw the many people laboring on it. He walked up to a man cutting rock and asked what he was doing. “I am a stone mason”, the man said. “I spend all my days cutting and shaping stones.” The traveler then walked over to a man sawing a beam and asked him the same question. “I am a carpenter”, the man said. “I spend my days cutting and hammering wood.” Finally, deep inside of the church the traveler saw a wrinkled, weathered-looking woman sweeping up the splinters and broken pieces of stone with an old broom while humming to herself. He asked her what she was doing. “I am building a glorious cathedral to honor our Loving Father in Heaven”, she said with a smile.
Now before I had always read that story with a smile on my own face. I took it as a lesson on taking pride in your work and seeing the value in your job. But this time I felt something deeper in my heart. My mind cleared and I saw there was an even deeper meaning to this story. It wasn’t only about how you feel about your job but also about how you live your life. In that moment I saw that each one of our lives here is a cathedral that honors our Loving Father in Heaven. Each choice we make is a stone we lay. Each act of kindness we do is a beam we hammer into place. Each moment of love we create builds it up higher and more beautiful.
How is your life going to look at the end of your days? Is it going to be a glorious cathedral full of light and love that reaches up to Heaven or is it going to be a pile of crumbled rock? It is up to you and it is never too late to start. Open your heart, grab your broom, and start sweeping.
Joseph J. Mazzella