Come on, Jaime, just a little further.
Jaime could see the open door of Harveys shop ahead. He placed his already aching shoulder and stiff, leather-gloved fingers against the end of the heavy oak tree. With all the energy he could muster, Jaime pushed; his body quivered and his muscles bulged. The tall tree gave way and slid across the soft, muddy ground.
Thats it. Stop right there! Harvey called.
Dropping his arms that now felt like jelly, Jaime walked up next to his boss. The color of Harveys face matched the red bandana he was wiping it with. Woowee! Harvey said. I sure didnt realize it was going to be that hard getting this tree out of the woods.
We take to sawmill now? Jaime asked in his broken English.
Harvey handed Jaime the jug of ice water. No. Were cutting this one by hand.
Jaime took a long swig of water and then gave his boss a funny look.
A sad smiled filled Harveys face as he glanced down at the giant log lying at his feet. I dont think the cross that my Savior hung on was run through a sawmill.
But this is for the Easter cantata, no? Dont you want it to be pretty? Jaime asked.
Pulling off his work gloves, Harvey answered, No, Jaime, I dont. Churches are filled with beautiful crosses that are sanded smooth and stained to perfection, and, most likely, thats what the church is expectingbut thats not what theyre going to get. A lump swelled up in Harveys throat, but he continued, When they hung my Jesus on the cross, I dont think they went looking for the smoothest piece of lumber so that it would be the prettiest thing standing on the hill that day. They just found the strongest beams that wouldnt buckle under the weight. Overcome with emotion, Harvey could only choke out his last words.
For several moments both men stood there silently contemplating what this project meant personally. Then, Harvey cleared his throat and broke the quiet. Come on, Jaime, we have a cross to construct.
Jaime wiped his damp eyes on his shirt sleeve and followed his boss into the shop.
(c) 2007, Rhonda Clark
Rhonda Clark is a stay at home mom of two and a freelance writer. She and her family makes their home in Bartlett, TN. For more information about her writing visit: www.freewebs.com/rhondaclark or contact her through www.faithwriters.com
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