To their credit, they are not afraid of hard work. They have now cut down, sawn up, and completely removed well over forty trees in less than a month. And in order to save even more money, they even went out and purchased a small "bobcat" loader in order to do all of this work for themselves.
My son in particular has made it a point to do as much of the felling of these trees by hand as possible. In the process, he has also made certain to utilize as many as possible of the tools that once belonged to his forebears. These tools have included such things as chain saws, cross cut saws, tractors, logging booms, chains, irons, and dogs, etc…, most all of which belonged either to my son himself, to myself, or, in most cases, to my father-in-law.
Recently, as we were busying ourselves with the ongoing process of dragging felled and sawn logs, it dawned on me that I had a collection of tools which once belonged to my father that my son had never seen. A couple of days later, when time permitted, I dragged these old tools out and showed then to my son. To my delight, my son was utterly fascinated with this find.
Now granted, they were not really much to look at. Each of them – a hoe, a set of post hole diggers, a set of logging dogs, a swing blade, an ax, a crowbar, a machete, a pickaxe, an awl, a sledge hammer, and many more such similar items - were all covered in rust and dried mud, caked on decades ago. I doubt seriously if any one of them would bring more than a few dollars, if that much, in a yard sale this very day.
But to my son, they were instantly of inestimable value. Why? Because they had once belonged to his father, to his grandfather, and in some cases, to his great-grandfather, before him!
As he went through each tool in turn, around ten or fifteen altogether, he made note of how he intended to use each of them, first one and then another, to work on his own place. It was obvious that this was his way of having an ongoing connection with his heritage.
I can only hope that the day will come when he will pass these same tools on to his own children. If that day does come, my suspicion is that they will eventually hold them in the same esteem as he now does.
But these tools all have one other bit of significance attached to them. And I was privileged to have been there to witness how they received it.
In the mid 1970’s, a man in the community where I grew up passed away. He had been a mechanic who had lots of tools. When this man’s widow put his tools up for sale, my father talked it over with my mother and then went and purchased all of this man’s wrenches and other mechanic tools "en masse".
Perhaps because he suddenly had such a large collection of tools, my father decided to mark all of them, whether they be ones intended for the mechanic or the farmer, with a dab of red paint. It was his way of saying to everyone that these tools were his, because he had bought and paid for them. What is more, it was my job, as his one and only son, to go piece by piece and dab each and every one of them with a spot of red paint!
And it was while examining this collection of rusty old tools still in my possession that my own son noticed the small red mark on each tool he picked up. The inevitable question and the resultant explanation ensued. In the process, these rusty old tools, already valuable in his eyes, were instantaneously imbued with even more significance.
All of this serves to remind me of what the Bible has to say in the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verses 18-22:
18…The first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
The point here is that, in the Old Testament, the priest of God would sprinkle the altar and other items within the Tabernacle with the blood of a sacrificial animal, for God had decreed that there had to be some form of vicarious (or substitutionary) death in order to atone for the sins of men and women, since He (God) had previously decreed death as the penalty for mankind's sin (in Genesis, chapter 3.)
But the writer of Hebrews goes on to proclaim that the problem with this system is that it was temporary at best. It always had to be repeated. And thus, there came a day when Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, sacrificed Himself once and for all for the sins of men and women (Hebrews 9:27-28). And to this very day, all those who are sprinkled by and with the blood of Jesus, the one and only Son of God, are truly and forever marked for redemption.
For they, and they alone, bear the one true mark of having been bought and paid for by the God Who desired to possess them forever! And that, my friends, gives them value in the eyes of all who behold them.
For my part, I am glad to have been sprinkled in with the blood of Jesus. And I sincerely hope that the mark of His blood is so evident upon me that all who behold it will know beyond all doubt that I am His and He is mine! I trust you share the same testimony! If not, I hope you soon will.
Stephen Crane once wrote of "The Red Badge of Courage". Far more important is the red spot of redemption! For it, and it alone, has eternal consequences! Remember, "...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness!"
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/hebrews/9.htm.