I mean, the kind that feels back-breaking. The I-know-I'm-going-to-feel-this-tomorrow work. There's just something healthy about it, the way you can see your work, know when you are done. There isn't as much middle ground, not a whole lot of gray area. It's either done or not.
We at Westwood had the opportunity to do something that had been in the works for a little over a year. The idea was first discussed on the way back from Catalyst '07, when we decided on the theme for this year, which is Giving and Living (or Live and Give, as it's become). The idea was to close the doors of the church one Sunday and serve instead. Actually serving as a worship service (Romans 12:1).
As with all such ideas, it went through several iterations before the actual Sunday. We had a breakfast and small service at the building, ending at the time normal services begin. Then we all went out to serve. There were many different projects, but the main one was the roofing of a house.
Now, I actually like roofing. I helped a neighbor's family roof her house when I was a young teenager. It's something I find kinda fun. I don't know why; it probably has something to do with swinging a hammer and being off the ground. The problem is that I'm not used to hard work like this!
We actually started Saturday morning, stripping the roof of the old shingles, tar paper, and nails. I had to go to work for a few hours that afternoon, but I was able to come back to help put the last of the new tar paper back on. We started back at 7:30 Sunday morning, and were just beginning to lay shingles when some of us left to do the short service at the building. We came back and laid shingles all afternoon, until it was too dark to see. Man, that's hard work. I've got blisters and sore muscles and cuts and sore muscles and torn-up shoes and more sore muscles! We had quite a few people but almost all of us were (are) novices. I laid shingles with just a hammer and nails and then did it with a nail gun. I laid shingles vertically and horizontally. I laid them in teams and by myself. I hung a leg off the roof and wouldn't go near one edge. I do have one request: I wish they made nails in different flavors. I would always hold a couple in my mouth and wish they'd make them in Skittles flavors. I know you're not supposed to hold nails in your mouth, but I have small hands - it's difficult to hold nails and nail at the same time for me. Anyway, some people had to go back today to finish up. I was able to head back this afternoon for the last little bits. I even think I was the last one off of the roof.
It sure is nice to see a job finished.