Many years ago some friends gave me the book “Christ’s Ideals for Living” by Obert C Tanner. It has a number of gems in it, and this poem by George Blair is one of them which has stayed with me. Jeffrey R Holland quoted it in his April 2006 Conference talk “Broken Things to Mend”.
It reminds me that no matter what part of our life is broken, we can be made whole by Jesus Christ, the Great Healer.
The Carpenter of Nazareth
In Nazareth, the narrow road,
That tires the feet and steals the breath,
Passes the place where once abode
The Carpenter of Nazareth.
And up and down the dusty way
The village folk would often wend;
And on the bench, beside Him, lay
Their broken things for Him to mend.
The maiden with the doll she broke,
The woman with the broken chair,
The man with broken plough, or yoke,
Said, “Can you mend it, Carpenter?”
And each received the thing he sought,
In yoke, or plough, or chair, or doll;
The broken thing which each had brought
Returned again a perfect whole.
So, up the hill the long years through,
With heavy step and wistful eye,
The burdened souls their way pursue,
Uttering each the plaintive cry:
“O Carpenter of Nazareth,
This heart, that’s broken past repair,
This life, that’s shattered nigh to death,
Oh, can You mend them, Carpenter?”
And by His kind and ready hand,
His own sweet life is woven through
Our broken lives, until they stand
A New Creation—“all things new.”
“The shattered idols of my heart,
Desire, ambition, hope, and faith,
Mould Thou into the perfect part,
O, Carpenter of Nazareth!”
I'm a 50-something bloke who lives in the northern hills of England. I write fiction (mostly fantasy), blog about religion and work in book publishing after a career in healthcare.
November 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm
Love that poem, thank you!
Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2013 14:44:38 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 8, 2020 at 9:21 pm
George Blair had a beautiful sensitivity in his spiritual attributes. And he has the gift to be able to express them. I feel what his poem says to me. I follow the Master Carpenter as best I can and wish my heart could express what I feel in words. But, alas, I can’t – which makes me all the more appreciative of how he writes his feelings.