When I was a teenager, I used to spend my summers with my uncle who was a carpenter. He would hire me as somewhat of a gopher for him while he was building houses. I learned many lessons while on those job sites that continue to help me today, like how to properly hold a hammer, how to measure twice and cut once and how to properly take a break at 9.30 and 2.30. One of the earliest lessons he taught me, was simply how to buy lumber. I just thought you went to the hardware store, paid for it and loaded it on your truck. Little did I know how much work went into simply picking our lumber. He taught me how to hold a piece of wood to uncover it’s crown, then to see if it was crooked or warped. He would say “Matthew, these people are paying good money for us to build their house. It is our responsibility to make sure we use their money wisely. If I wouldn’t use it in my house, I wouldn’t try to place it theirs. You want to make sure you get the best and the straightest wood, because the crooked and damaged will only give them problems down the road. No one wants to have their house made of crooked and damaged lumber.” He was so right, but when Jesus decided to build His house (His church), He didn’t have any good lumber. In fact, every person that makes up His church is broken, crooked, damaged and warped in some way. Yet He is the Master builder! Only Jesus can take what is broken and damaged and make it like new. It is almost as if He delights in using people that the world might consider useless. Peter says that the people rejected the perfect cornerstone; maybe that was His motivation to show us just what He can make out of brokenness. Even though the world sees us as broken and useless, in God’s eyes we are “chosen and precious” (I Peter 2.4-5) stones that God has used to build His house.