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June 15, 2020

I do not remember her name. I remember she was a nurse in training at the hospital. I do remember what she said. I have not forgotten that. The doctor had come in to take off the bandages from my right hand and made the comment: “Let’s see if the hand is like new!” It wasn’t! Gangrene had set in. My hand smelled, looked terrible and two of my fingers hadn’t took hold from being sewn back on. It was a mess and I was in shock and tears and pain. The doctor and nurse cleaned up my hand, rebandaged it and the doctor left. As the nurse was leaving, she looked at me and said: “Just because your hand won’t be like new doesn’t mean that you can’t be like new!” Wow, so profound. She saw something in me that I was not yet able to see.
“With a strong forearm, the apron-clad blacksmith puts his tongs into the fire, grasps the heated metal, and places it on the anvil. His keen eye examines the glowing piece. He sees what the tool is now and envisions what he wants it to be – sharper, flatter, wider, longer. With a clear picture in his mind, he begins to pound. His left hand still clutching the hot mass with the tongs, the right hand slams the two-pound sledge upon the moldable metal. On the solid anvil, the smoldering iron is remolded. The smith knows the type of instrument he wants. He knows the size. He knows the shape. He knows the strength.
Whang! Whang! The hammer slams. The shop rings with noise, the air fills with smoke, and the softened metal responds. But the response doesn’t come easily. It doesn’t come without discomfort. To melt down the old and recast it as new is a disrupting process. Yet the metal remains on the anvil, allowing the toolmaker to remove the scars, refill the voids, and purge the impurities. And with time, a change occurs: What was dull becomes sharpened, what was crooked becomes straight, what was weak becomes strong, and what was useless becomes valuable. Then the blacksmith stops. He ceases his pounding and sets down the hammer. With a strong left arm, he lifts the tongs until the freshly molded metal is at eye level. In the still silence, he examines the smoking tool. The incandescent implement is rotated and examined for any mars or cracks. Now the smith enters the final stage of his task.
He plunges the smoldering instrument into a nearby bucket of water. With a hiss and a rush of steam, the metal immediately begins to harden. The heat surrenders to the onslaught of cool water, and the pliable, soft mineral becomes an unbending, useful tool.” (Max Lucado, On the Anvil)
“For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 6-7)
God sees in us something we have not seen yet. Be patient. God is molding us into something better. Have faith. God bless and God’s got this!

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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