Tools For the Trade

indexThese two guys had eight, handy tools surrounding them for easy access.  I know because I’m watching them and count the tools they need wrapped around their waist as though preparing for a gun fight with the town’s villain.  Sometimes this tool is used but now this smaller tool is needed for that sharp corner.  In tandem, one outside and the other inside they perform their task and warn the other if that smudge is his or his partner’s.

I watch them while waiting for an appointment (never read magazines in a doctor’s office; who touches them except sick people!) as they diligently complete one before moving to the second.  Their faces are task orientated and focused, this completed job only leads to the next set down a ways.

I walk into a hospital room knowing only an unknown name and possibly a diagnosis that I may know or not.  Another enters a prison cell wondering how he/she will be received.  Another stops the woman on the street who appears lost.    I open the door to an anonymous appointment and she walks into my office.  I’m stopped after Mass and a stranger says, “May I have a word with you right now?”

I don’t even have John the Baptist’s leather belt or the eight tools that my window washer friends so easily used.  I only have that “Hi” followed by anything and everything that follows; rarely with a solution especially for that tough corner no one’s been able to reach.  I’m searching for tools in my head in milliseconds only to find that my eyes are listening and my ears are seeing the conflict or turmoil or pain.  I can only hope that her/his window to the soul may be ready to be seen through and somehow realize that all will be okay.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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