The blazing heat never much mattered as it pummeled his face with their constant bombardment of stingingly sweet flashes and blunt wisps of bellowing hot breath, not always taken on the chin with as same reception a man can muster on an other more anticipating day, he clenches strong jaw as he wraps gloved hand around the smoldering hot bar. Lifting the white hot metal out of the like hot coals, the blacksmith places the super heated metal now already glowing in orange-red brilliance on a the clod black anvil, he immediately begins hammering the slag, those black imperfections that are pressed to the surface by the combination of the fire and the repeated pressure of the hammer and its own distresses, allows them to become exposed to the light of dawns day and then be removed by continued pummeling and the eventual insertion into Gods cleansing waters.
Long be the years the faithful Blacksmith has labored over the daily tasks of continued forging, working the metal and refining the perfection of those given under his responsibility. Even when muscles pained, back and neck strained with the constant hammering for no other reason than to help remove the impurities, for the final artistic display, it was always worth the journey. But even he has seen a decline demand of his specific products he so began those many years before, granting the great diversity of the art that he now practices, somewhere down deep in the back of his heart he senses a change is in the air from the confines of his cozy trusted shop, its wood tones and handily placed tools at casual reach, never far from the comforting eyes of others that love him, for he dreams even but a moment to push out into the blazing light of the world with eyes on a larger rooftop with blue skies and majestic white clouds.
But the years and heavy burden does work on necks’ and back muscles’, as they voice their own words of rebellion to the everyday load, likewise the seemingly repetitive tasks in a day-in, day-out “I have to continually repeat my deposit of skillful seeds to an ever needing and often slightly over dependently craving audience”, can in itself make even the most successful servant long for days of absence. He can maybe with a more wandering eye pray for a light day, any a man might hope and even silently cry for a bit of a distraction from the squawking baby bird yet deposited again into the nest waiting to be fed. Is it wrong for him to silently pray for the peacefulness of the blue skies, he asks himself?
And so came into a life a new assignment, a new challenge to the ventures of this down the road walk that embellishes all of us each and every day of our lives, our man gets new papers. That trek down the path we have with solum heart, and sober word, made our oath to follow, orders even as in any soldier, not understanding completely the complexity and ramifications of said order’s, but stands in diligence until new assignments come down the pike. A tow truck drops into his lap as a new task to ponder. With it the knowledge that a trusted Dispatcher will also give him assignments as need be.
Strength of hand and broad shoulders, all of the necessities one might need to possess enabling a man to handle the less technical aspects of a tow truck operator, all rest within the belt of tools at his disposal. The new truck being an mantel of strength and power granted him from Above, like receiving an immensely strong horse capable of pulling any sunken wagon out of the muck, so is the new embellishment girding its arms entanglements around the pylon’s that already anchor him in the Rock.
Assignment or relief, who’s to say? For this re-assignment or task granting from the Supreme Commander, fills a heart with such a warmth like sweet soft touch of a young lovers smile embracing his soul with just the slightest nudge of a Fathers approving love filled eyes, that our man can not help fall to knees with gratitude for yet again the honor such an assignment places into mind. A smile, ear to ear is difficult to hide when it bursts from the deep caverns of the soul, a warmth building within constantly combining the continued contemplations of a spirit erupting if only to release but a fraction of the light that has been deposited with his orders.
He beams as he drives down the street, following yet again another dispatch from the Voice softly yet sternly resonating thought his waiting ear. Ever giving direction which way to turn, what street or path to set foot, for that next waiting recipient of his tow trucks blessings. The nice part about responding to dispatched Instruction from Above is that recipients always are in a place of needing, receiving, and flat out dire desperation, finding the tow truck operator always received with wanting smile. Assignments are pretty easy when the Dispatcher sends out the Word, but that is only a percentage of his work load, many a long day is spent in subtle search for people and candidates needing the skills he can deliver. So he ventures on.
There is always the possibility of a haphazard broken down or stranded cowling sheep, sitting quietly along the road, or nose deep in the cold snow of the ditch just a turn ahead, a wayward lamb that in most cases ventures out without the proper preparation, or an overextended journey beyond granted strength or enabled supply might warrant. The problem with people who are broken, often times they have no idea from what part lying within is broken, and most of the time in an area of their motor they hardly fathom. It is the meticulous nature of the Blacksmith, and his willingness to call back to the Dispatcher, who happens to be a wonderful Mechanic, for His wisdom that often proves invaluable to finding just the right part that may need changing or repair.
Sometime people only have a flat tire, and while the tow truck operator can change tires, in many cases a little breath of fresh air is all they need to continue down their path, allowing them themselves to seek further repair, and in a sense, finding a solution themselves. There is a self gratifying feeling of accomplishment when a person can help themselves out of their hole they have so meticulously stepped in themselves, and even if they are but a contributor, the Blacksmith gives a strong hand in help but they go on to the repair, seeking their own, walking them self with but a nudge, oh how the Blacksmith smiles as he sees little children waddle down the road with but a little help, advised and seeking their own solutions.
Jump starts, and people who have run out of gas are always fun, these desperately poor individual just need a little hand, a small gift, a little spark, to put them right back into full sprint. The Blacksmith never asks for money when he give to these, but just reminds them when they in turn see someone in need not to drive by, but stop and offer the same hand in turn. And so as the ripple flows through the still majestic and mirrored pond with but a single stones throw, so is the effect of this good mans gift radiating out throughout the entire world, sometimes even bouncing off the shore and actually coming back to gently caress his face.
The funny thing is when he just comes across these poor stranded and helpless souls, a person never knows what and who he might meet, not always are they all as receptive to a Hand. These souls a tow truck operator must approach with most reserve and tenderness, they not always knowing their own wanting need of help, even when it is clear the help is exactly what is prescribed, let alone appreciated, or even accepted. The shock of a realization of need, can sometimes be overwhelming to an contented creature that has had everything they have ever wanted in life, even at the exclusion of many they have brought in themselves and then later not wanted. It pains his heart when he has to occasionally pass on by or leave when he clearly knows help is what they so desperately need. But people need to be left in their own choices, seeking their own road or ditch.
How even funnier it is when a tow truck operator can venture down a particular stretch of road, down certain segments of peoples paths, and low and behold he will find someone in the ditch, even more comical is the fact that it is often the same person he had just pulled out the day before, needing to be pulled out time and time again, without ever admitting the fault that brought them in the ditch in the first place. There comes a time when even the most giving of hearts dwelling within the chest of the loving of tow truck driver, will be fed up with yet again pulling the same person out of the same ditch, he sets them back on a path, just to watch them tumble head first again the very next day.
These acts of kindness, and seeking, on the part of the tow truck operator, does in itself bring its own risk of a stiff hit to the chin, for reactions are always as spontaneous as the randomness of individuals he finds, and every once in a while a snake in sheep’s clothing rests in quiet hiding ready to diabolically place silent fang in an unsuspecting Good hand. But thank Jesus the training that the Blacksmith had years under his belt and reaching into dark places for raw metals to refine, has made him particularly aware where and when a snake lies in wait, and quick is he with a forging hammer ever ready to deliver a deciding blow onto the head of a slithering serpent. So many snakes have had head pummeled that now they seem to run at his very sight, for the power of their eventual destruction beams from his very thundering steps.
In this particular case the assignment has definitely granted from the Voice! Another broken traveler, venturing out in a dangerous world with less then the preparation needed to make the successful journey, how sad it was to find her tear drenched in her sobbing smile hoping and praying for just another shoulder to lift a portion of the burden she has fallen into with her own two feet, blessed it was for her that the Blacksmith strong are his shoulders and easy is the burden He is to lift for her, because in only the shortest time he introduces the actions of his labor that more then adequately place her back on path again, this time with assuredness of successful completion. He never asks for thanks, and never expects pay, for the Dispatcher is paid all that is due and any compensation our tow truck operator might receive given back at home where his heart so longs, dwells, and looks.
Another day, venturing down the path, opening an eye to the Light, the Light being Christ is all of God. He is the Light ever and all permeating, penetrating around us in gentle blossoms of warm scented touches, His soft light gently caresses the skin that surrounds our spirit, and even if it be of the world, and created of the dust of this earth, but formed by the very Breath and Hand of the Father, so caresses He gently that which He created. Spoken into existence by His very spoken Word. Oh how he praises God that he wasn’t born blind to have the very Gift to witness the Light bouncing off the gift He so abundantly gives us. Like the clear crisp road he now drives down comfortably in his tow truck, like the many smile of lives that pass and wave in response to his own friendly wave, like the birds, like the fresh coffee, like the very breath he breaths, like the heart beating in his chest, so is every part of the Gift that presents itself in this fine day glorious.
Driving round one more icy bend on this late winters day, the year and years speeding to a rapid halt as he tries to look if one more person finds themselves in need. He spots up ahead long off in the distance maybe just another person; could they be partially in a ditch sitting with but one wheel off and now spinning wildly but going nowhere, stalled puttered out in tired slumber not sometimes just because of a simple part that has given up, out of gas out of energy in need of a little fire in the belly, maybe they just needing a jump a little spark to send a jolt through the mangle nerves of the body, another flat tire another simple breath, or truly completely broken down one needing to be towed back to the Mechanic, or one he just has to pass by?
Written for Peter Laue, The Blacksmith, The Tow Truck Operator
By Peter Colla
“Lord Jesus let us all be Tow Truck Operators, all be servants giving to any and all You might Dispatch us to, and even them we happen to pass.”