His hands show signs of wear and tear,
the skin that covers roughened by use.
Small calluses adorn his fingers.
Tiny scars and nicks grace the surface of the man.
Large hands. Strong hands. Working hands.
But there in lies the grace that God has given him.
Large hands to hold tightly to lifelines that
save, that salvage, that comfort.
Strong hands to hold a small child, an elderly
woman, a lost man and bring to safety.
Working hands that give of himself, his
life, his courage and his talents.
Hands that tell the story, past and present.
Words written in the flesh that stretches across his palm.
His battle is not just the flames that shoot from
the center of the heat, but also stems from the abundance
of human fear and skepticism.
His task is not just to retrieve, to recover that which
can be redeemed, but also becomes to calm the fears,
lend confidence to those in despair, and to battle
not just his own concerns but those about him.
His valor often understated, even in his own mind.
His courage often overlooked in the frenzy of the moment.
His dedication often forgotten as the emotions subside in
the subsequent calm.
His skill often taken for granted as what is "expected".
He asks not for thanks, yet we owe it.
He asks not for loyalty, yet we should give it.
He asks not respect, yet he has earned it.
He asks not for honor, yet proves himself worthy
time and again.
© Copyright Brenda Hager 1999
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