A New Capacity

The Blacksmith eyes the iron ingot on the shelf
His plans require the metal to give up its’ self
Its form will change to become something else
Yet it will still be the metal it was meant to be
He is not angry, but knows the violence he must do
With love, the bar is placed into the furnaces hell

He listens in compassion for the shouts that yell stop
I cannot take more of this, silence only he can know
Time mastered, he knows when to remove the glow
Cracks grace the surface to expose the interior within
His hammer cannot be tender for what it has to do
It crashes down repeating blows to shape and mold

Into the furnace again, the metal writhes in ecstasy
What should be whispered, bellows force instead
Flames intensify to be raised so much further still
Pain real, but pleasure from the craftsman’s touch
In agony, metal begs the mercy of the hammers kiss
Screaming in hope, unwilling to run from destiny

Metal glows deep red under the Craftsman’s eye
Wounded, scars do not show in their invisibility
Rising smoke gently lifts away the metals impurities
The restless pounding does not stop its ruthlessness
The bar no longer recognizable as it begins to thin
to be transformed into a vessel of unique worthiness

Hearth burning strong, tongs reach, again and again
No time to rest, the hammer continues its violence
The Blacksmith knows the times of its malleability
Hammer briefly stilled, the metal cries out I thirst
It must be tempered, water must briefly quench
Fire, pain, joy wait in patience for what will be

Gasping, it must let go the fear of heat and flame
while coals add to the depth and breadth of intensity
It cries again, anguish and brokenness from metals past
The Blacksmith must own its courage, own its weight
The hammer cannot stop, thick bowl must be thinned
Both in joy they dance together on the cool anvils face

Never completely done, holes are carefully drifted in
for the handle that will lift and carry burdens heft
What was an iron bar, re-shaped to a new capacity
A kettle made deep for faith, His gift to the world
The Blacksmith smiles radiant behind the scenes
As more ingots are waiting for him on the shelf


I had a sudden jarring realization that over my entire life I had never really honestly and truly put myself in someone else’s shoes.  In my unique stubbornness, over a period of a few months I literally had to force myself to do so. I have to admit it was one of the hardest things I ever tried to do, failing over and over again. For the first time in my life among other things I finally began to understand the grief, frustrations and lack of connectiveness some people encounter.  In the depth of this misery I figured out God’s circular grace lets me reach out silently to/with/for others in prayer. I have no proof except faith that He will have mercy and give others the love they need. In this on-going process I am finding His methods are not always very pleasant but necessary if I expect to be shaped in Christ’s image.

For further reflection: Julian of Norwich – Revelations of Divine Love