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Hope is Like Steamed Crabs - Tools of the Trade

To cook, serve, clean, pick, eat, and clean up steamed crabs, you need some tools to help you along the way.

  • Tongs – to pick up live crabs, putting them in the pot before seasoning them. Tongs are also helpful to remove the hot crabs, putting them on the table. I did a search on “crab tongs” and was surprised at how many different kinds there are(1).

  • Spoon – to measure the spices and mix them before seasoning the crabs.

  • Pot – to steam the crabs in.

  • Mallet – to directly break the crab open or to drive a knife through the shell. While there are lots of mallets available, a plain wooden one would be the traditional choice(2).

  • Knife – my personal preference is a dull paring knife. Too sharp and you can easily nick yourself, giving the spices and salt painful entry. And you NEVER use a plastic or table/dinner knife.

Now there are many different thoughts and approaches to the tools that you need to eat steamed crabs. For example, I use my hand to hit the knife, driving it through the crab shell. For me personally, I’m strong enough to use the palm of my hand. Having to pick up and put down a mallet just slows me down way too much.

I don’t look down at people who use a mallet, seafood fork, or crab cracker. They are no better or worse than me. They just need different tools to get the job done. If they use a mallet, good for them. They are actively working at eating steamed crabs.

Hope is like this too. Some people need certain kinds of help when it comes to hope. You might need one kind of tool to help you along while they need a very different tool. As long as they are actively seeking hope, then we support them. We can encourage them with our words, but more with our actions.

Not everyone is at the same place when it comes to hope. Some are further ahead; some are way behind. Some are moving fast; some are moving painfully slowly.

Let’s help everyone move forward in hope.

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