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Meet Willy

If you haven’t already noticed, we’ve got this beautiful, rustic looking brick wall in our new studio, and I love shooting it. In fact I have to make myself come off that wall just to change things up. Well, it’s time you meet the man that made that wall…and the fireplace…and the brick on the front of building. It’s time you meet Willy.

He’s a bricklayer by trade, but in all truth, he’s an artist by passion. When I mentioned that to him, he told me that the pay just went up. I told him he had it all wrong, because artists starve! He replied, “Not the old ones!” But I’ve watched him over the past weeks, enough to know that when he slings that mud and it takes flight, it goes where he says it goes, and not an inch in the wrong direction. He stretches a level and he holds the line, always. And when he’s placed each brick, by hand, a little tap here, a smidgen of a nudge there, there’s nothing straighter or more on the bubble in this world.

He’s got a work ethic that reminds me of my childhood, watching my dad come in the door after a long night’s work in the coal mines. Resolved. Absolute. Tested. Something you don’t just run across on any given day… not these days.

I’ve met his son, I’ve met his brothers and sister, his wife and even his in-laws in the days that he’s been here. They’ve all stopped in to see his handiwork. His son and brother-in-law help out by doing the heavy lifting and cutting. Then they watch Willy, and they learn the art.

This morning he brought me a doughnut and when I told him I wasn’t about to take his breakfast, he said, “You’re not taking it. It was purchased for you.” It tasted good. Lot’s of icing. For some reason that simple statement made me think of Christ and His gift for me. His death on the cross, what He did for me, It wasn’t something I had a part in, it was an act that He pre-arranged. My eternity, purchased.

I watch Willy stretch a line and check the level of each brick, and I realize life could be that way, that each step, each day, could be somehow measured. Then maybe we wouldn’t wind up spinning our wheels on uncharted courses, but instead we’d be laying a good foundation, the one God set before us.

Ephesians 2:10 tells me that we are His workmanship, created in Christ to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Jesus has stretched that line. God is the level. And we can go through life and just be a plain old brick, or we can be a part of something greater, stronger, a bigger plan.

He’ll be finished before long, and then I’ll miss having him around. I’ll wish I still had a wall to finish, or that I could afford to build another. I’ll really miss His simple remarks, “Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”…”Razzle-Frazzle”, to name a few, and my favorite, when the work day is over and he’s found his stopping point, “I’m pooped!”.

Thanks for everything Willy and company. It’s certainly been a pleasure. If anyone would like some brickwork done, this is the man to call. Willy Plienis, Bricklayer, 359-4354.

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