He was a mechanic ever since his dad put his nose under an engine. His hands were good at fixing things.
Angelica was a cheerleader in school and didn't go for the dirty hands of guys who could make a simple life. But he was different, Dave cleaned under his fingernails with a toothbrush everyday. He kept groomed and he was smart, she knew he could do anything with his life. She fell in love, and when he made a commitment, he stuck to it. The promise ring was sported through graduation, and it made due for a wedding ring.
After the marriage, he kept his job at the local garage where his dad had a partnership. She would go to his work everyday bringing him lunch and watching him from a distance, where she admired the sacrifice of his hands.
Together he and his dad found a small old house in a clean neighborhood. The house had potential. Not much bigger than a doublewide, but it had two bedrooms, and together they could make a family. The only eye sore was a small church building with a perilous looking steeple. Some of the windows were cracked, and paint was pealing from he walls, visibly raked off the sides like falling scales.
When the time came Angelica Mack with her husband's clean hands and big heart carried her across the threshold of their quant new home. Her name didn't sound like royalty, but for all she cared, her last name could have been Dave Downtrodden. She gracefully let her dirty blonde hair sweep the floor, and relaxed under the power of his love.
In the first year they couldn't afford an expensive pair of wedding rings, but one day she surprised him with a dime store band that matched her promise ring. She would tell him, "You're my diamond from all the chunks of coal." Dave promised to never take it off.
When it happened: the accident. It seemed to change him more on the inside. He'd been cranking on a chain lift for an engine when it slipped and caught his ring finger, severely cutting into a tendon. From that day forward he would keep the ring in his pocket at work, and soon started forgetting to wear it outside of work.
That year was a tough year for both of them, Dave worked more hours to pay the bills, and Angelica became pregnant. Soon she felt fat, unwanted, and very alone.
Good thing she had a neighbor family that invited her to walk to church. She wasn't bedridden, and the doctor said for now it would do her some good.
One day Dave came home, pulled the ring out of his pocket and said, "Here just keep this in the drawer."
"That's no answer."
"You don't love me."
He walked over to where she had her feet propped up on the couch and handed it to her.
"I just don't feel anything," he said.
"When we make love you don't look at me."
He said nothing.
"Talk to me," she cried.
Instead of sitting down for supper, he let the back door slam shut.
"FEELINGS!" Tears spilled from her. "You think this life is supposed to be a funhouse ride?" But by then she was only talking to herself, and tracing the roundness of her stomach.
He walked along a stones edge of his broken road, intending to never stop. But he noticed that one of the hinges on the door to that church was cracked open in the wind. "This place needs help," he said to himself.
But something drew him further, something he couldn't explain. He walked down the dark aisle, with only a shaft of light from the loose door.
He knelt down and asked the God he didn't know, if anything in life was perfect? He looked up with tear-stained eyes and saw a portrait of Christ with a disfigured face, beaten, battered, as if painted for him. They were eyes filled with passion.
He had heard the neighbor's talk about being saved, and did his best to pray a lost man's prayer. He asked God to take control, to fix his heart.
When it was over he felt something. It was as if God took all of his burdens and thru them into a black hole in space.
He walked home light on his feet: filled with joy, filled with love, and filled with purpose.
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