A few years ago when I lived in Duluth, MN, I worked for a company that made and sold a material called photo resist film along with specialized equipment. Printed artwork was Â€Â˜burned' into the film via a special light process. What would happen was where the artwork was black would be protected from the light so to not Â€Â˜harden' the film. When the film was washed under pressurized water, the water could not wash away the film that had been hardened by the light process. This would leave the image from the artwork to be washed away. The film was then dried and adhered to a substrate such as crystal, wood, metal, and many others. There are some intricate steps in between and specialized equipment needed. But for the sake of time and space, the end result would be to create a beautifully carved piece of crystal, an award, doors, murals, creative gifts or anything else the artist could imagine and produce. (One of our customers actually had his work on the walls of the Miami Airport. It was life sized murals of a young boy. As you walked, it looked like he was running beside you. We had people that would take pictures on their African Safari's and have their pictures transposed to put on mirrors in their homes. Ideas were endless and beautiful.) Now it was ready to have the artwork picture put into the substrate. That's where the subject of my blog comes inÂ€finally. One of the specialized pieces of equipment was a Â€Â˜sandblast cabinet'. Not the kind automotive and metals shops use. These were exclusively made for this precise artwork. As anyone who works with Silica Sand can tell you, it can be extremely hazardous to your health. These machines held abrasives of Aluminum Oxide or Silicon Carbide. Through a specific nozzle, either of these products would be forced through while aimed at the piece of substrate with the film adhered. The effect was the abrasive would blast through the artwork that had been washed off the film. The hardened film would protect against the abrasive. And the end product would look something like this [img] It's hard to imagine an abrasive material could make something of this beauty, eh? The grit in these abrasives is the same grit used on you common sandpaper. As you probably know, the higher the number on a sand paper, the finer the grit and the lower the number the more coarse the grit. The larger a piece of artwork was and the deeper you wanted the image to be blasted into the substrate you would use a smaller number grit of abrasive. Once I heard a conversation between two Christian brothers. One was explaining about some difficulty they were having with a certain person. The other party said, Â€Âœ"Oh! they are your sandpaper God's using to smooth out your rough edges, huh?"Â€ Perhaps you've heard that before. Could it be that's what God might do? To show us that we might still have some rough edges that need to be smoothed out. Just as when working with wood, all the corners, joints, blended pieces, etc. need sanded in different stages to create a beautifully smooth finished product. We all have our idiosyncrasies that needs meshed into the body if we are to be the bride of Christ. So, if we were a piece of prized wood God was using to be interlocked into a fine piece of furniture...Â€here might be some of the abrasives He would use. There's MACROGRITS: Extra Course - Size 24-36 - used for very fast removal Course Â€Â“ Size 40-50 Â€Â“ used for rapid removal Medium Â€Â“ Size 60-80 Â€Â“ used for sanding bare wood Fine Â€Â“ Size 100-120 Â€Â“ used for sanding wood in preparation to finishing Very Fine Â€Â“ Size 150 Â€Â“ 220 Â€Â“ used for the final sanding to smooth out any final microns Then there's MICROGRITS: Very Fine, Extra Fine, Super Fine and Ultra Fine Not necessarily looking at the number, but the descriptions of what level of finishing they are used for...What stage of finishing would we be in and what sandpaper do you suppose God would use on us? Will we get to the Ultra Fine before the our wood dries out? It will probably take some sort of abrasive to get us to that beautiful end product at some time or other. Perhaps we can look at where we are in the process. It might relate to what 'abrasive' God allows in our lives to bring us to the realization of what we need to work on to progress to the finished product.
The end product sure is beautiful.. but the process of sandpapering is tough! Ouch!
The truth is we cant get to the end without the process.
May the fruit of Spirit be grown in us as we are sandpapered to His glory.
Thanks for sharing a very interesting subject.
Let's see, I am sure you will get a delightful response from Hiswitness. :)
Hmm, I think God started off with a chainsaw and then a jackhammer starting on me! i[/i] I sure hope God has a good budget for sandpaper on His "Shadow" project... I think like Bill, He is still working His way through the macro grit class on me!
Thank you for your unique perspective... and fascinating subject.
I like the analogy of sandpaper being God's way of working through and with us -- and the different types makes it easier to apply to our own lives - Thanks. (The picture is awesome too). Barbra
Wow, this process of sandblasting reminds me of a parable called the Refiner's Fire. I would look it up sometimes. Besides that, thanks for all of your advice. I love smoothing the rough edges.