Sunday, June 21, 2009

God Comes to My Job


I was having one of "those days". Activity had really picked up at the factory and the traffic in steel for highway structures was moving at a peak-season pace. I felt pulled from all sides. Material handling. Inventory control. Shipments packed. Transport arranged. Trucks loaded and off-loaded. Visiting customers accommodated. Plant safety issues. Steel yard management.

The day was overcast with long, low dark clouds for a mid-morning. I was seated in a forklift, having just off-loaded a flat-bed full of structural beams. Irritation and self-pity had set in. Taking a breather for a few moments, I reflected on my status and the chain of events which had brought me here...business failure, joblessness, sudden re-location, building construction, furniture delivery, truck driving, cabinet-making, shipping-receiving and now highway steel and structures. "Was this the plan, Lord?" Hilary and I had left Chatham with half-cooked ideas of ministry in our heads. That was soon set aside for the pressing needs of a young family. Occasionally in the work-places, people would cross my path ready to receive "a word in season". Hilary was home-schooling our two children. The years had passed.

Our stock-yard was on a slight elevation, looking south toward an industrial zone of diverse small-scale fabricators and warehouses. I had a wide-open view of a large stretch of darkened sky. Strangely I felt a gentle pressure at the back of my head to bow it forward, and I yielded to the urging, looking down to my work boots. Briefly I remained in that posture, suspecting somehow that God was in the moment.

When I looked back up again, some of the clouds had parted and a distinctive shaft of sunlight wandered over the scene before me, touching the ground, moving from left to right as the wind pushed along the cloud-bank. Was He telling me that He saw, He knew and that He was in control, closer to my case than I had ever imagined?

Then it was over, and I was aware of the roaring sound of another transport truck entering the yard with a partial load of eight-inch pipe...

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