Have you heard of Dalton Ghetti? No? I’m not surprised. He’s just a simple man from Sao Paulo, Brazil (now living in Bridgeport, CT). He works as a carpenter (no kidding?) and has become known internationally for his hobby of sharpening pencils. That’s right – the New York Times has featured him, he has a commissioned 9-11 Memorial, and he’ll come and lecture about his hobby if you have folks particularly interested in sharpening pencils.
Confused? Well, let me explain. Dalton has been taking pencil tips and carving them into incredibly intricate sculptures for the past 25 years (photos included at the bottom of this post). Why is he doing this? As a challenge to himself. He explains, “I can do anything really big, but the small stuff is really difficult, so I was like, let me see how small I can go.” Using razor blades, sewing needles, a sculpting knife and only his naked eyes, he has made a habit of taking one of the most mundane objects found in the common home and making it beautiful.
This reminds me of God’s work. God is absolutely in the business of taking the mundane and making it beautiful. God is the master of taking the small and inconsequential and shaking reality with it.
- He chose Israel, a tiny and inconsequential people, to bring salvation to mankind (Deuteronomy 7:7-9; Genesis 12:1–2; John 3:16-17).
- Jesus, the Son of God, appeared as a common carpenter as opposed to a great military leader (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).
- God chose David, a common shepherd and the youngest of his brothers, to be His anointed king (1 Samuel 16:1; 10-13).
- He used Peter, a common fisherman, to vocalize the Gospel-foundation that the Church would be built on (Matthew 4:18-20; 16:18–20).
- God used the cross, a common killing device, to deliver His people from condemnation (1 Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 2:14).
- He defeated death from within a common grave (John 19:38-20:18).
This is just a very small number of examples from the Scriptures, but God often works powerfully in our lives through other seemingly inconsequential “actors”. Would you have guessed that for me, God used an atheistic social anthropologist from Cambridge and a number of destitute children from Thailand to absolutely break me? How did God speak powerfully to you at any given time in your life?
In so many cases, it is through the mundane. But now is when the message comes back around to your role in God’s beautiful kingdom. Did you know that God can use your mundane work day at your mundane job to reach people with His hope? Did you know that He can use your relationships with your friends, family, and even acquaintances, to draw people’s gaze to His love for them in the Gospel? Did you know that whatever gifts that He has given you and often times, just small bits of your free time, can be used by Him to alter people’s trajectories when they’re shown the sacrificial love of their Savior?
Why? Because God’s beauty and power is not found in the things of this earth, themselves. They’re hidden in Christ and His presence which will be clearly seen behind the veneer of this world (1 Corinthians 13:12). Whatever little you think of yourself, if in fact you find your personal value in question, know that God chooses to use the time, gifts, and resources of the least of these to bring glory to His name, and that makes you invaluable. Choose to live out the two greatest commandments and the Great Commission this week with Galatians 5:5-6 in mind: “For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
*Now, check out some of those amazing sculptures I mentioned from Dalton Ghetti below:
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff