Work Hardened — in Metal and Men

Kit under a tree at Sandy Beach

Good Morning, God!

You caught me by surprise, yesterday. I had no idea I You were going to point out my “Gollum” potential. Sigh.

But now, God, back to “my” topic about the jewelry class. The instructor explained that when we hammer or bend metal it becomes “Work Hardened.” The molecules form crystals and become rigid — very hard to bend.

As soon as I heard the phrase,  “Work Hardened” I thought, Oh, yes! So many of us have become “work hardened.” Hard to bend and  not so flexible. But, metal doesn’t have to stay in that rigid crystalline structure. It can be annealed! “Annealing [heating] is used to induce ductility, soften material, relieve internal stresses . . .”

In the Jewelry class we used blow torches to heat the copper wire and return it to a softer more flexible state. In class, I started to twist my wire and it didn’t budge. I had forgotten the annealing step! A minute under the blow torch and the wire twisted easily!

Now, what about US, God? Blow torches won’t work! How are we to be delivered from our crystalline structure? I’ve been pondering this. My first thought was that anything that heats us up — causes sweating — might help relieve internal stress. Running, brisk walking, even saunas?

On another level, there is also the Warmth of the Heart, God. Love has the power to “anneal” us — soften us, relax inner rigidities. For me, those 10 day silent retreats in Snowmass really helped to “soften” me. My Wednesday Prayer Group also helps me experience Your Love. YOUR LOVE is the best “annealing” agent of all. Please, God, help us open to Your Healing Love!

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Posted in accepting my need for help, Hearts, LOVE, Work

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