At the heart of Habitat’s mission is the theology of the hammer. It’s a principal that goes beyond talking about faith and making statements of kindness and compassion. It’s about putting faith and words into action and making something real.
This hammer is symbolic of the action everyone took to make this home, and home ownership for K. a reality. Your selfless acts of kindness are represented in this hammer. It contains the memory of each swing you took, driving in nails (sometimes bent-you know who you are). Stuffing insulation into the walls, the strokes of the paint brushes, the planting of shrubs, laying sod, and all the other activities that resulted in creating this wonderful home.
The hammer represents diverse groups of people coming together to build houses and vibrant communities. We acknowledge, and respect, each other’s differences of opinion be it (cultural, political, theological, or who has the best High School Hillgrove)-but we can all find common ground using this simple tool to display God’s love.
We find agreement on building affordable, quality homes for people in need.
We find unity in making substandard housing and homelessness-socially, morally and religiously unacceptable. We do this by using a hammer to build homes and sell them to those who could not afford them otherwise. We do the work of the hammer because we recognize that every person, every family, has value to God, value to our community and deserves a simple, decent place to live.
The theology of the hammer is not justification for charity. The hammer signifies work, and recognizes the value of hard work, commitment, sacrifice and responsibility. K. has lifted the hammer and given “sweat equity”-by working on this home. In total, he will expend a total of 200 build hours on this as well as other Habitat family homes.
In addition, K. will take 100 hours of mentoring and training in financial management, responsibility and home maintenance. His final exam isn’t measured in grades, but how he helps this community thrive.
The hammer mandates that we “give a hand up, and not a hand out” to homeowners. Homeownership is a privilege that carries with it a responsibility and commitment to ensure success in breaking the cycle of poverty and substandard housing.
K.-Please accept this hammer as a reminder of what everyone has built together and our best wishes to you and your family now and in the future.