Cutting through Iron

While attempting to have a quiet time this morning, it was all I could do to not pull my hair out at the noisy construction that is still going on across the street.

Ever since that fateful day of November 30th, the day a bulldozer demolished the entire apartment complex next door, we have not lived in peace. They’re building from scratch, starting at the foundation and working their way up… A project that seems to be taking an eternity!!!

I eagerly look forward to rainy days and holidays, knowing that only then will there be a pause in the racket-causing-activity…

IRON(no pun intended)ically, the passage I was reading this morning happened to be about cutting through iron. A screeching sound I am altogether familiar with and am subjected to 24/7.

As I read, some perspective truth rang high above the noise…

Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. 

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. 
He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, 
for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” Psalm 107:10-16

As I took in the Word along with the noise, it suddenly became all too real. Construction is necessary and Jesus was more than just a carpenter; he was an iron-cutter. THE Iron-Cutter.

He came to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed… to set the captives free. (Isaiah 61)

To break the choking chains of gender-based violence, unjust stereotyping, abandoned babies in third world countries, separated families, and homelessness.

Rape in the workplace, religious traps, fear of revengeful pursuers, and war.

Poverty, substance abuse, eating disorders, and shame.

Running from murderous threats and prejudiced law enforcement.

Ignorance and apathy.

Idolatry of Self, of intellect, and of science.

We are detained and entangled because of our sin. Stumbling in the deepest, darkest, broken-down apartments, our sin takes us captive, chaining us to the condemned, cockroach infested pits.

Our only escape is our Carpenter– the Construction worker of all times and before all times.

To cry out to Him is to be saved.

He cuts through the iron shackles, breaks down prison gates, and sets His people free.

It is a deed that was done one time by one man for all men, but it is a constant undergoing of construction.

Daily are people being set free. Daily are iron bars being cut through, and once the chains are broken, the project begins. Truth sparks transformation, overseeing every stick of dynamite explosion that rebuilds lives. The old is destroyed and a new foundation is set, hence more hammering and sawing and construction in order for the Holy to take residence.

The Carpenter is at work. Both here, and above. 

… I go to prepare a place for you, if I go, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

As one who has been freed, there is a lot of work to do before He comes back. Millions of people are yet enslaved, crying out for freedom.

So every day I hear iron being cut through, so every day I go.

Reminded that my unshackled hands are tools to be used, carrying the most important blueprint: news of the Ultimate Iron-Cutter. 

Under Construction

Nrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
BAM BAM BAM
BZZZZZZZZCKCKCKCHCH

These are the housewarming sounds which welcomed us into our apartment our first day.

These are also the sounds which have continued to welcome us into the neighborhood. Never missing a beat, every day they persistently remind us we live in Turkey, where walls are paper thin and everybody can hear everything.

A fussy cat, a public dispute -where they shamelessly stand inches apart yelling at each others’ faces- a meat delivery boy roaring his bike engine into gear, a Simit Seller’s mumbled cry advertising his pastries resembling rings of soft doughy pretzels…
we hear it all.

I don’t mind the sounds of life. No. In fact, I love our neighborhood noises. They remind me of my current surroundings and that I’m where I’m meant to be doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing.

But….
Nrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
BAM BAM BAM
BZZZZZZZZCKCKCKCHCH

Well. At first I smiled. Day two, I sorta laughed it off.  Week 4??? I groaned. The construction has not only continued from the project next door, but in addition the ENTIRE building across the street is now being totally remodeled as well. We are literally living in a construction zone. If asked to give some thoughts on what Turkish home-life is like so far, my very reflective comment would be: “DRILLS. Lots and lots of drills.”