The artfulness of sledge hammers

Walking around the city today a very mundane sight caught my attention:  a building site on the 1700 block of M Street, NW… One building is in the process of being demolished between two others (see photo).

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Do you notice what I noticed?  The adjacent building has hardly been scratched by the destruction!  It may not seem like much, but if you’ve ever worked with a sledge hammer you know it’s not exactly an instrument of finesse.

I marveled at the work crew’s achievement for a moment then walked on.  I’m sure the destruction will be matched eventually by equal feats of construction.  It’s all very impressive… but it pails in comparison to God’s achievements in nature.  Whether it’s me strolling the city or any of us being self-impressed, a dose of humility never hurts the avid humanist.  I was reminded as much when I sat down later with this verse from Bl. John Henry Newman:

Man goeth forth with reckless trust upon his wealth of mind, as if in self a thing of dust creative skill might find; he schemes and toils; stone wood and ore subject or weapon of his power.

By arch and spire, by tower-girt heights, he would his boast fulfill; by marble births, and mimic lights – yet lacks one secret still; where is the master hand shall give to breathe to move to speak to live?