Friday, June 22, 2012


The first words Smitty spoke when I met him were, “Boy, you aren’t 15 years old!” Smitty owned a resort and I had called him up to see if he needed someone to cut grass during the summer months. Unfortunately I stretched my age by about 2 years over the phone and it was pretty evident when he saw me in person that I was a young looking 13 year old. He didn’t send me away though. He stuck his hands in his mechanic gray work pants and asked, “Can you work?” I wondered why he would believe my answer when I hadn’t told him the truth about my age, but at that point I wasn’t going to ask about that. I just said, “Yes,” and he hired me. That was the first of many summers I would work for Smitty.

He was a small man with a severe limp which came from a motorcycle accident years before. He had been hotrodding on his Indian when he hit some sand and lost control. He laid down the bike well enough, the only problem was it landed on his leg. The result of that accident was a life of constant pain.

What made Smitty stand out was not his appearance or presence—it was his incredible ability to fix things. It didn’t matter if it was a car, furniture or a TV, Smitty could make it run like new. And for this, I was very grateful. Being only 13 I was tough on machines—not on purpose, I just didn’t know any better. It seemed every week I would break a lawn mower or garden tractor. So I would trudge up to Smitty and explain, with a bowed head, what had happened. His reaction was usually to shout a string of words which cannot be printed here, take a deep sigh and then look at me and say, “Oh yeah, I’m not supposed to say those words around you. Oh well, let’s go get the machine.”

Smitty would then disappear in his shop for a few hours or a few days, depending on how bad the problem was, but inevitably he would appear with it running like it was brand new. That was Smitty. He could take things ready for the junkyard and give them new life.

You could say that our God does with people what Smitty did with broken machines—no matter how badly we are broken, he can make us like new, in fact far better than new.

This Saturday night (6:00 pm) and Sunday morning (10:00 am) we are going to be studying the account of the Passover, that dramatic moment when God freed the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. It’s a story of God’s power and judgment, but above all it is a story of redemption. It’s a story of what God wants to do for you and for me.

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.