Bronze Man Part 1

When you give of yourself, what could be the possibilities?

bronze man

A young man, strong and lean, bronzed as from out of a fire, appeared in the city. Around him churned honking taxis, rumbling trains, grinding trucks, and huffing, sweat-drenched bodies bustling through caverns of concrete, glass, and steel.

He walked to the city hall, where men and women marched up and down a hillside of steps, past pillars and heavy doors. They wore dark suits and stiff white collars that choked them. In their briefcases were documents, signatures, and stamps of power. The Bronze Man turned away. He walked through the financial district, stopped briefly, and went on. He passed through bustling merchandising districts and spoke to anyone who stood still. When he would not buy, they turned away. He ventured into places not marked on the map, where people lived in cardboard boxes and others carried guns and sold pills and bags of white powder. But the Bronze Man would not buy, so they turned away. And he walked on.

He hiked to the outskirts of the city, out of the peoples’ way. He faced the city, raised his hands and shouted, “I have come to change your city! I created this land that was once a vast forest, but you have built on it this city that has turned away from its maker. I have come to restore your soul!”

Many people stopped. “Where did he come from?”

He raised his hands again: “Turn around! The city is to be rebuilt! Come! Follow me!” The people stared.

The Bronze Man turned and marched on. Some people went back to their transactions; some kept staring; some followed just to see what he would do.

“To rebuild a city,” he said, “we need hands to work. Give me your hands!”

“What will you give us?” they asked.

“A new city.”

“Impossible!” scowled one.

“A bit strange but remarkable,” mused another.

“Maybe worthwhile,” wondered a third.

“Who will give me their hands?” asked the Bronze Man.

“I need both hands to work,” protested one.

“I need both hands to sail my yacht,” smiled another.

“Is anyone willing to give me their hands?”

“I will,” rose a voice from the back of the crowd. A young woman stepped up. She held a baby in one arm and clutched a teetering child in the other. A third older one tugged forward and back at her dress. “Without hands I can still nurse my baby. Though I must cook and clean, my children and husband will help.”

Like lightning, the Bronze Man thrust his hand, and in the blinding flash both her hands were gone. She, with her children, followed him as he walked on.

“To rebuild a city,” he said, “we need feet to travel. Give me your feet.”

“What will you give us?” they asked.

“A new city.”

“I need both feet to walk,” scowled one. “Isn’t that reasonable?”

“Who is willing to give me their feet?” asked the Bronze Man.

“I will,” called a voice from the edge of the spectators. An elderly man stepped forward. “I love nothing more than to walk early each morning and hike in the countryside. But I have hiked enough. I am content to sit and enjoy the earth from a chair.”

In a flash the Bronze Man thrust out his hand and seized the man’s feet. The woman whose hands had just been taken bent to give him her shoulders. He took hold of her, and she carried him along with her children following the Bronze Man.

“To rebuild a city, we need eyes to see.”

“What will you give us?” they asked.

“A new city.”

“I need my eyes,” protested one. “If I give my eyes, I will be completely blind. It is unthinkable. I can’t do that.”

“Who will give me their eyes?”

A young man stepped forward. “I will. I am a university student. I often study long into the night. But I have learned enough from books and am ready to learn from darkness.”

Again the blazing flash, and the man’s eyes were gone, leaving empty sockets in his face. The man whose legs had been severed held onto the young mother with one hand and gave the other hand to lead the blind young man.

“To rebuild a city, we need mouths to speak.”

“What will you give us?” they asked.

“A new city.”

“We cannot give you our mouths,” laughed one. “That’s impossible.”

Said another, “Even if we could, we wouldn’t be able to speak one word to each other. How could we do business?”

“Who will give me their mouth?”

A woman stepped from the side. She was middle aged, slightly grayed and very refined. She looked up. “I am a teacher. I have spoken to my students countless hours over many years, with many years ahead. But from now on, I will use only the chalk in my hand.”

In a flash the Bronze Man wiped out her mouth. The blind student reached out his hand to her, groping until she caught it.

They walked on.

“To rebuild a city, we need ears to hear.”

“What will you give us?” they sneered.

“A new city.”

“If we give our ears, we could not hear what anyone says to us; we could not hear music; we could not hear sirens or horns; it’s dangerous.”

“Who will give me their ears?”

“I believe I must,” confessed a woman standing before him. “I am a guitarist and a composer. I have sold records and have performances scheduled for the next three years. But I will rely on what I can play and sing by memory and hope the sounds come out right.”

The flash again, and both her ears were gone. The teacher took her hand and comforted her.

continued next week…