What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

He is the one who responds to our weakness rather than our strength, to our helplessness rather than our ability. He is the one who came to seek and save the lost, who came to gather to himself the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, the one who came to respond in strength to those who know themselves weak.

Everybody knew the local blacksmith. Everybody knew him because no matter where the townsfolk went, they could hear the sound of his hammer as it beat against the anvil. No matter where they were they could hear the sound of his bellows as it spurred the fire to burn and roar with fresh intensity. Day in and day out his sledge beat against the metal like the ticking of a clock, like the beating of a drum, like the ringing of a bell.

Men, women, and children alike would pause as they passed by his workshop—pause to watch him rain mighty but measured blows upon rods and bands of iron. His shoulders were broad, his arms thick, his hands strong. Villains feared him but good men respected him, for they knew he was honorable, they knew he was committed to using his strength for good. An occasional uppity young man might challenge him and attempt to best him, but he would inevitably make that youngster regret such rashness, for none could ever throw him to the ground or make him beg for mercy.

It happened on one otherwise unremarkable afternoon that a silence settled over that small town and the people soon realized that the blacksmith’s hammer had fallen silent. Slowly it registered in their consciousness that they could no longer hear it ringing out through the streets, no longer use it to measure the hours and the minutes.

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