Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"hot, stay back"

Our family did the annual summer trek to a local amusement park about a month ago. I'm not much of an anti-gravity type and I'm pushing 50, so I brought along my trusty Canon SLR to capture the action and the fun of the day. My huband and I played mini-golf and then sauntered over to a blacksmith's stand. There wasn't a huge amount of action going on, but one thing caught my eye immediately. Watching the burly smith was this weasily carnie leaning on a garbage can smoking a pipe. I could see the Rockwell potential of pure Americana, humor and witticism looking at this man, and my brushes were already painting a scene. Alongside the man, in front of the forge was this poorly lettered, barely noticeable sign mounted in a plastic bucket that read, "Hot, Stay Back".

Well, I'm sure you can imagine the irony of that little sign. It gave me a title, smirked at the pipe-smoking incarnation of sloth and laziness-so "not hot"!-laughed at the potential for any danger, as the way I was to paint the picture would only show a semi-glowing pipe and not a forge. Yet the danger was very real should you stumble over the ankle-high chain attached to that bucket and land in the fire or on the forge.

I think we sometimes look at God like that carnie. We barely notice notice the truth of situations that could burn us beyond recognition. We think we're like the man, too, thinking we're safe, while being uneasily perched on a garbage can (another huge irony in the picture). Lately I've been made aware of situations before, during and after the fact that are hurting people I care about. It may be embarrassing, but so much easier to yank a person away from that sign than try to salve the burns later.


Post a Comment

<< Home