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Spoon Carving

Would you like to join me at a spoon carving workshop today? Our friend is teaching how wooden spoons are made—and he’ll help you make one for yourself! To keep? you ask. Yes!

First you have to choose a chunk of wood to start with. Hardwood with a fine grain are best. I like that reddish one, you say. That is red cherry, and it will make a pretty spoon. He has already drawn the spoon outline on it, see? So our next step is to clamp it to the table so it won’t move while you carve it. How will I make it into a spoon? By using the right tools and following directions!

Here is our first tool, called a gouge. Mark a line 1/8-inch from the spoon edge, and that’s where you will start carving out the dip. Cut all around the edge and scoop toward the middle, like this. This is fun! you say. Good—just be sure that you carve evenly and make the middle deep like a bowl.

Are you ready for the next step? We need to flip the spoon over and start carving off the back of the handle with this coping saw. Do you want to try? Careful, because you don’t want to cut too deep. It is kind of hard to keep it even, you say. Can you help me? Sure. Now we have a square handle and it is time to use the spoke shave. Can you guess what that does? Oh, it peels the wood off in little pieces. I can do that! Good. Work around the handle until you have a round shape.

You know, carving a spoon is a lot like what God does in our lives. We start out like a chunk of wood—different kinds from different families, all square and rough and not very useful yet. God is the Master carver, and when He looks at your life and mine, He has a plan. He knows just how to make our lives beautiful and useful in His kingdom. But what do you think our part is? I don’t know. What does the wood that you are carving do? Nothing. Except it gets clamped to the table and lets us take all these pieces and shavings off! But it doesn’t feel anything. That’s true. But we do feel things, don’t we? So when God wants to carve our lives, He first has to teach us how to trust Him. Especially when we feel that the trials and problems are ruining us! Actually, they are just shaping us for the special work He has in mind for our lives. But first you have to realize that you need God to do the carving and yield your life to Him. Jesus said that without Him we can do nothing. Just like this wood can’t be a spoon without you!

Look! My handle is done! It is looking good. Now work on the back of the spoon scoop. Be careful not to get it too thin. Then will it be done? No, after you finish making the shape you like, it will be time to sand it. See this spoon? Feel how silky it is? It has been sanded with 8 grades of sandpaper until every little grain of wood is polished smooth. And that’s just what happens to us. We have to be corrected and taught by love and patience and skill, until we don’t have any rough edges poking out to hurt others. You wouldn’t want your spoon to give you slivers, would you? No, I want mine to be perfect. It takes awhile to make a good spoon, but when it is done you can enjoy and use it for many years. I’m going to give mine to my Mom! That’s a great idea—I’m sure she’ll love it!