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'Your Rod and Your Staff,
They Comfort Me . . .'
by Maricia Mlynek

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Our community is home to countless talented individuals, people whose gifts and skills are remarkable. When talking with these craftsmen and artists, I come away feeling blessed to have watched their talented hands at work.

As I sat in Dave Trippett’s living room, I was able to see first hand the works of not only his hands, but his heart.

Dave Trippett does detail work on a cane.

Trippett designs and creates canes. These slender pieces of wood are not the canes one would imagine buying in a shop or picking up in a mall. Each cane is handmade with count-less hours of labor.

He has made over 60 canes in the last several years. Each one has been an act of service. He has never sold a single one.

“It is a ministry,” said Trippett, “I give them away.” He is an active member of Knotts Memorial U.M. Church, and many of the canes have Bible stories and scriptures entwined around them. He recently made 15 for a Sunday School class.

The cane he made Jill, his wife, tells the complete story of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, each major event was depicted beautifully by Trippett’s hand.

Many people have asked him why he does not have a booth at the Wood Festival or sell the canes. Trippett’s answer is quick, “I do not sell them. It is an outreach, and I enjoy giving them away.”

A verse in Psalms 23 is very appropriate for Mr. Trippett. “Your rod and your staff, they comfort me . . .” (NIV). It is fitting that this verse was written by a David, King David.

It is apparent that each cane or staff is given as a comfort and as a ministry to represent the Master. It is encouraging to see that the hands of a craftsman like Trippett are led by his heart. In each piece of wood and in each carving, he offers a labor of love.

In a world that can be dark, there is a light in Calhoun County that grows stronger as the hands and feet of its people serve their brothers. Some may volunteer their time, some their efforts, and others their talents. Trippett gives all three. His ministry brightens the county and offers comfort too.

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