Souls are polished here.
Some years ago I saw a documentary about a Samurai Sword Priest. I wish I remember where I saw it, but even though I don’t, the video made such an impression on me that I remember a few special details to this day. One of those being a simple sign a Sword Maker/Priest might hang over his shop: “Souls are polished here.”
Of course, it was in reference to bringing a sword to a highly polished finish, but as I pondered that simple phrase I tried to visualize God working on us! A Samurai believed their soul was in their Sword, one with their Sword, and so it is not hard to imagine such a sign over a simple Sword maker’s shop, but for us followers of Christ, it has even more meaning!
“Souls are polished here.”
In previous articles I gave a very basic overview of what a sword goes through to become a worthy blade, one having great temperance. From its very conception as a raw chunk of steel, plunged into fire over and over, shaping, pounding, cutting, and finally plunged into cold water. This is the creating and tempering process, but yet another very important step must still be completed, that of polishing the blade to a highly polished finish.
They say the difference in ability of an unpolished sword to cut, compared to a properly polished one, is like the difference between night and day! It makes that much difference.
We must remember that a Samurai Swordsmith would labor many days over the creation of a true blade after the old ways. They believed in this process some of the soul of the Sword Priest influenced the Sword. In other words, if you put your blood, sweat, and tears into something, like say a garden, if you labor over something enough, it becomes a reflection of you.
A true sword Priest saw that as a great responsibility, as men went into battle with their very lives depending upon the quality and nature of their blade. They even believed the character of the Sword Maker influenced the blade. Because of this, they were considered holy men living very devout lives, dedicated to their holy craft. They even had special white garments they wore as they crafted their Swords. We all seem to understand holiness is described in white, and Jesus was the lamb without spot or blemish.
In the Star Wars movie, “Attack of the Clones”, Obi-Wan told Luke: “This weapon is your life.” And no truer words could be said of God’s Word, our Bible, the Sword of the Spirit. In this Sword I polish my soul!
Is my Bible a weapon? It’s self described as a Sword. It causes reactions in people unlike any other book I can think of. I have to be careful how I use it. But we do not wrestle against flesh and blood! Satan, and the unseen principalities our Bible exposes, certainly fear this Spirit sword as a powerful weapon against them, if we have trained ourself in the use of it, become one with it.
I chuckle as I’m about to write this. But… I know it should go without saying… but… our Bible tells us to forgive even our enemies… but… please don’t confuse that with our enemy Satan! We don’t have to be nice to him! Take his head off with that blade if you can! And all of his minions too!
A Sword Priest would use several stones in the process of polishing a fine blade. One stone after another slowly and purposely and skillfully and lovingly slid over and over again across the blade, painstakingly bringing to a higher and higher degree of finish. Once one stone had done all it could do, then the next stone, one having a finer grit, would then continue the blades progress towards perfection. Wow. God does all that to us? Or at least tries to?
“You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. As the scriptures say, I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” (I Peter 2: 4-6)
“And, He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.” (I Peter 2: 8-9a)
God’s word has a lot to say about stones and priests. Souls are polished here.
Thank you for sitting a spell under the Willow with me, and allowing God to smooth some of our roughness with his refining stones. I will likely be moving on from Star Wars analogies now, but the Samurai, his sword, and Sword Priests is a constant analogy of mine. I also have more movies I look forward to sharing and pointing out inspiring lessons in those shows. Hopefully, some of these movies will be inspiring for you too.