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This is a teaching tool with real power

Allow me to wander through the past again this week. This piece is about the most unusual gift Othel ever gave me. It carries a bit of nostalgia with it because I don’t have any forests or hills to conquer in Brandon.

Close your eyes and come with me,” Othel directed me as he led me out the side door. “Now open your eyes.”

There it sat, reflecting brilliantly in the sun, and it was all mine. I squealed in delight.

“My very own?” I asked, still in disbelief.

“Yes, just your size — pick it up and see.” Slowly I reached for the black handle and lifted the light gift to my side. It was perfect — a dream finally realized — my own chain saw. A baby Stihl.

“Would you like to crank it?” Othel’s question broke into my fantasy.

“Gosh yes, show me how.”

I followed his instructions but for strength reasons had to adjust by putting it on the ground. I placed my right foot on the lower handle bar, took the pull cord in my right hand and pulled. It purred. I pulled the throttle, and it roared. The days of squeaky clippers, pruners, and dull axes were over. Now, real power was mine. The powerful motor and spinning blade would more than compensate for the physical stamina drained from my 50-plus years.

“I’ve gotta try it,” I said. I crossed the driveway, headed straight for a sickly cedar tree that was wasting good space. I placed the blade at its base just as I had seen Othel and Daddy do it, pulled the throttle and ate through the tree in seconds. My first victim was lying at my feet. I looked up our hillside and caught a glimpse of what I could accomplish — now that power, real power, was at my fingertips.

Last Wednesday Othel and I carried our saws across the drive and began our clearing project. The task no longer intimidated me. For several hours we cleared and stacked trees and limbs. The progress was amazing. And my baby Stihl made an excellent teaching tool.

As wonderful a gift as my powerful saw is, the indwelling Holy Spirit dwarfs its power. His presence and peace dwell within me, and I haven’t begun to tap his power. He guards me, intercedes for me, convicts me, fills me, helps me, teaches me and comforts me. He’s my source of fellowship, liberty and spiritual gifts, just to name a few of his ministries.

As Othel and I ended our first day’s work, he instructed me further, “You did fine; just remember, keep the blade out of the dirt so it will stay sharp.”

His instructions brought immediate spiritual application.

I smiled as I patted my new baby Stihl, my brand new “teaching” tool.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camilleanding@gmail.com.