The Carpenter

Inspiration to Life: The Carpenter

When I go to church some mornings, I always saw Mario. I’m going out of the gate, he is coming in the compound. His looks was light despite of his work as a tough carpenter. He carried a blue backpack and wore a red cotton-t shirt. And then he would change from the red cottong shirt to a loose old green jacket. That was what he wore most of the times.

He worked whistling a happy tune. Every time I turned on our player, he switched places and brought all his tools under the mango tree in front of my small house. There he could listen to the beat of my speakers. He would nod his head and quickly went on cutting and hammering the furniture he was asked to finish.

I couldn't see his work piece by piece but as soon as he carried the finished product and brought it inside my neighbors house – it looked so elegantly crafted. Mario didn’t mind his pay. I heard from Bianca he wasn’t paid much only a little. He ate lunch with his bare hands under the mango tree and then he would say to everyone who passed by him “Let's eat!”

When he saw one of our puppies, he asked me if I could spare him one puppy. I gave him the brown one. His eyes radiated like the bright sun when in his soft voice he spoke, “My children would love the puppy.”

One rainy morning he still reported for work when hi co-workers didn’t. Then just the same during his snack time, he offered helper Bianca the sandwich he was eating.

“Come have some biscuits."

“Why did you report today/ Didn’t you know there’s a storm coming?”

“Oh I know, but its ordinary rain for me. The storm would be hitting in the night, so I could still do some work now.”

“Wow you are loyal,” Bianca teased him.

“Of course, I need to work harder. You know I have children to send to schools and a wife to feed and buy clothes. Mario laughed. “I’m afraid of my wife,” he laughed again. “Anyway, I’m happy with my work.”

I could hear their joyful conversation.

Their gestures of valuing their small---- work inspired my panting and complaining around the comfort of the bigger thing I go.’

That was the last time I heard Marios’ voice.

The next morning Bianca came in with the dishes and told Mario died. I thought Bianca was joking, though she couldn’t fake her smile.

On the night the storm hit, Mario's home of scrap woods. The ceiling flew and the walls floated. He soaked himself on himself on the flood and carried his children one by one to a higher ground to make them tempororarily safe. That night he rowed his body on the muddy flood to save his poor family, and the puppy, too.

Where I live Mario reminded me, God was just around. He was a carpenter.

Rose Flores Martinez
July 31, 2010


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