Pieces of Work

I remember seeing a sign in an automobile repair shop one time that read, “Every piece of work is a picture of its maker.”   Someone was saying that any work we do leaves our signature on it.  Taking pride in doing good work is a beautiful thing to see.  It can be as simple as the way you load the dishwasher or as exciting as a perfectly executed double play in baseball or as complicated as the work of a surgeon.  Going to a Farmer’s Market is a perfect place to see the pride and satisfaction that comes from growing or making things.  It is all about so much more than the exchange of money.

In his poetic essays, Kahil Gibran wrote that work is the way we make love visible.  In The Prophet he describes it in more detail: “And what is it to work with love?  It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your own heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.  It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.  It is to sow the seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.  It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.”

Not all of work is easy or pleasant or poetic. There is always the underside of deadlines, tedium, re-doing, and sweating, but there is something in the process that can heal us and help us to find meaning and contentment in our lives.  What piece of work is calling you to begin it?  How will it become a reflection of your own spirit?