Grandma Used Shears. So Should I.

Written by Carl Greene

May 15, 2024

My Grandmother Greene was a master at using shears. She was a sewing phenom, who salvaged many a pair of my jeans from the rags bin. In fact, I had more than one pair of work pants that wore more patches than original fabric. Amazing.

Recent memory of my grandmother’s shears arose with the return of wasps in the spring. You see, my grandmother wielded her shears for mending as well as a weapon of war.

First, more specifics about the tool of the trade. Grandma used shears—which are, of course, very different than scissors. “Scissors are smaller than 10” with two identical handles while shears are 10” or longer with one rounded bow for the thumb and a longer more elliptical bow for two or more fingers.”[1] Simply put, she meant business when she was going to snip.

Second, her shears mended what was broken, and broke what was threatening. She had no love for wasps inside her old farmhouse. When a wasp was buzzing along one of the paned windows of her home, the announcement would come.

“Arlie, get the shears.” (That would launch my grandfather into action).

With one quick flip of the wrist and a timely movement of grandma’s digits, the formerly agile wasp was no more. I never saw a wasp escape. Rarely did I witness a second attempt to get the job done (I actually do not remember a single miss).

In her hands, her shears were used for good. Mending. And rending.

Grandma’s shears were on my mind when I recently read through Matthew 18:9 – “And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.”

Relentlessly purge things that cause me to sin. I think my issue with this truism is that when I think of people who are good at purging temptation, they are often not very nice. They are down right grumpy and not enjoying life. Perhaps it is too easy to get focused on wielding the shears as a weapon and we forget the hope of mending.

I want to be more focused on ridding my life of sin. I also want to be incredibly engaged in mending a broken world by joining God in His Kingdom work. Grandma’s shears might be a good tool to have in my tool box.


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