The Bent Nail

I found it lying on the pavement, under the carport, and picked it up. I slipped it into my pocket for disposal of later.

The bent nail had been discarded, its usefulness aborted due to the weakness that surfaced when force was applied to its head with the intention of driving its point home.

Perhaps there was a flaw in the nail itself that caused it to bend under the hammer’s blows.

Perhaps the point hit a knot in the wood and could go no farther, the next blow bending the now discarded nail.

Perhaps it was due to human error – a misplaced “whack” off center would be enough to send it out of true and cause the next blow to bend it.

Perhaps it was the heat generated from the friction of being driven into and through the wood that weakened the nail and caused it to bend as blows rained down on it.

I don’t know what caused the nail to bend.

I just know it did, and that it was discarded because it bent.

Perhaps the reason isn’t all that important.  What’s left is the question of “what’s next?” for the bent nail.

Right now it lies here on the desk beside me.  Its humped back and bent spine are evident of some horrid abuse suffered.  It can’t be corrected or undone.  It is what it is – a bent nail, unfit for its intended service.

What do I do with it?  Throw it away?

It’s what we do with bent people, isn’t it?

Before you answer, think about our own awkward bends and what caused them.

Have you allowed them to sideline you? Have you deemed yourself unfit…damaged goods…incapable…unavailable…broken beyond repair…?

Do you see only your bend and not your point?

Bent nails (like bent people) are not worthless.  Oh, it’s easier to sideline those bent out of shape because it’s not always evident what we should and could do with them.  And, once bent, they are often inclined to bend again when force is applied to them.

However, bent nails (like bent people) are capable of doing things straight nails (and unbent people) are not able to do.  Look around you at all the curved edges you see.  Bent nails go places and serve purposes that straight nails cannot.

Bent nails can provide a solution by driving their point around the problem, providing security, strength and support while straight nails can only be driven straight to the heart of the matter.

Are you a bent nail?

Do you feel discarded?

Don’t sideline yourself, or allow others to do so.  Look for where your bend is best utilized and hammer yourself into that nitch with determination.

Which would you rather look into?  A box of straight, shiny nails, or a box of bent and oddly shaped nails?

I prefer the box of bent and oddly shaped nails!  Each tells its own story.  Straight nails have no story yet to tell.

And, if truth be told – every nail that’s hammered is slightly bent…no longer true to its original form.  The blows from the hammer and the wood it’s driven into mold it in some way and it becomes something it wasn’t originally.

Are you a bent nail? Then get busy!  You are uniquely bent and uniquely capable of service in a unique capacity.

Find your unique place.

Share with me where it is.  I look forward to hearing – from one bent nail to another. 😉


2 thoughts on “The Bent Nail

  1. I found your article while researching bent nails for a message. 15 years ago I was blessed by a retired carpenter with the value of the dropped ,bent nails. with your permission,i would like to include some of your thoughts as they are very well written and obviously from the heart. thanks dennis

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