The Hammer Holds

This hammer pounds to give me form
This flame, it melts my dreams

My friend Bill Holland just posted a wonderful blog post on lyrics. It brought to mind a conversation I had with a friend a week or so ago.

I was talking about adversity and how it shapes God’s people. I used the analogy of a blacksmith who heats up the steel, pounds and twists it on the anvil to form something useful. I likened adversity to the fire and blows of the hammer, we are the raw metal, and God is like the blacksmith. It brought to mind a song by Bebo Norman. A poet through and through. He is not a main stream Christian artist any longer. In fact, he got out of performing several years ago to be with his family. No idea what he’s doing, but I’m sure he’s still writing. Anyway, he wrote a song called The Hammer Holds and I shared the lyrics with my friend as an example of what I was talking about and she found it very profound. Read the lyrics below but be sure to follow through the entire post:

A shapeless piece of steel
That’s all I claim to be
This hammer pounds to give me form
This flame, it melts my dreams It glows with fire and fury
As I’m twisted like a vine
My final shape, my final form
I’m sure I’m bound to find

So dream a little dream for me
In hopes that I’ll remain And cry a little cry for me
So I can bear the flames And hurt a little hurt for me
My future is untold But my dreams are not the issue here
For they, the hammer holds

And the water, it cools me gray
And the hurt’s subdued somehow
I have my shape, this sharpened point
What is my purpose now? And the question still remains
What am I to be?
Perhaps some perfect piece of art
Displayed for all to see

So dream a little dream for me
In hopes that I’ll remain
And cry a little cry for me
So I can bear the flames
And hurt a little hurt for me
My future is untold
But my dreams are not the issue here for they, the hammer holds

The hammer pounds again
But flames I do not feel
This force that drives me, helplessly
Through flesh and wood reveal A burn that burns much deeper
It’s more than I can stand
The reason for my life was to take
The life of a guiltless man

So dream a little dream for me
In hopes that I’ll remain
And cry a little cry for me
So I can bear the pain
And hurt a little hurt for me
My future is so bold
But my dreams are not the issue here for they, the hammer holds

This task before me may seem unclear
But it, my maker holds

“The Hammer Holds” Words and music by Bebo Norman.

After I shared my thoughts and these lyrics with my friend I decided to look for the “Story behind the song,” something I love to do. (BTW, there is website called Song Facts where you can look up the stories behind songs. Fascinating stuff.)

As it turns out, Norman was writing in the voice of a nail that would crucify Christ. WOW! That makes it more powerful than anything I thought it could be. Go back and read the lyrics now and see the difference.

The reason for my life was to take
The life of a guiltless man

Here is a link to the YouTube https://youtu.be/0HcHYWI4df4


2 thoughts on “The Hammer Holds

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