Thursday, March 15, 2012

A choice of power

Frederick Buechner writes in "The Magnificent Defeat"

"I suppose we might begin by saying that man's absolute power, the one that he can be surest of because it involves nothing except power, is his power to destroy.  One does not need talent or brains to destroy.  Anybody can do it: can destroy an animal, a bird, an object, an enemy or friend, himself, Jesus Christ.  There is no need to add that as matters stand now man has the power even to destroy mankind.  However, that is only half the picture because in addition to his power to destroy, man also has the power to create.  We can make things: paintings and political systems, theological systems, supersonic aircraft, iron lungs." (p. 32 HarperCollins, 1966)

Those words came to mind as I was discussing with my sister, Edith, about inspirational carvings I could use on my sawbench that I was completing.

I ended up choosing two simple phrases, "to destroy" and "to create."

She suggested using traditional Hebrew, "shabar" and "bara'."

I loved it.

It's something I'd like to remember every time I sit down at this bench.

For my hands are capable of either.

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