Nick dug out foundations within the stone filled earth with no more effort than digging in sand. He now only had to set the uprising girders in place. Setting his hands to the top girder from the nearest stack, he picked it up and carried it off in one hand. No one but a few children watched him anymore. They had gotten used to his routine feats of strength. Upending the girder in both hands, he rammed it into one of the foundation holes. Using a level, he placed it against the steel length as he kicked boulders the size of medium dogs into the hole. Between thumb and forefinger, he pounded the rocks until they formed a crushed base, enough to anchor the girder in an upright position; that was one. By midday, he’d have the lot done for a small block of flats. By the end of the day, he would pour cement into each hole from a vat carried on his back.
He smiled, happy at how fast his work progressed. Even by hand, he got results quicker than he would have, had he hired a team of workers to use machinery. Tomorrow, he could have the day off to rest as the cement set; not that he would rest. He would more than likely help with the meagre farms or do maintenance work in the houses. No doubt, his day sometime would also consist of playing soccer with the children.
He turned his head to the heavens.
Thank you, Lord. Life is good.
At the same time, a grim thought sobred him; the Lord had something challenging planned for him; an ordeal sometime in the future. Even with his strength, he wondered if he would rise to the task. His constant prayer became one that he would.
Pat otherwise known as “Tat,” was born on a remote Samoan island. He grew up for a time in New Zealand, before moving to the largest of the Pacific isles; Australia. A tall man and heavy set, his upper body had a covering of tattoos. In his formative years and beyond, he was first the recipient of violence, then the protagonist. Over the years, he accumulated more tattoos, until the day of his salvation.
Late one night, after reading his Bible, he stared at the markings on his skin and sighed. What he once wore as a badge to show the world he could take pain, now became a curse. He ventured into his bedroom to change for bed. His kindly face exhibited intense brown eyes and a mop of tightly curled hair. Alas, his frame had markings front and back. He put on a t-shirt to cover the bulk of the tattoos, yet his arms still displayed some of the inked art works.
“I can’t take them off, Lord,” he whispered. “How can I use them to glorify you?”
No answer came to him, but then he didn’t expect one. He resigned himself to lying down on his bed, prepared to make the all too short slumber for another day as a labourer.