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Miners dust the mine walls

Miners dust the mine walls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week’s edition of Pretzels and Bullfights is a bit of a special. For those of you abroad, what you may not know is that here in my native U.S.A. is presently rather important holiday: Labor Day. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s a holiday our nation takes to celebrate the craft and capabilities of its labor force, and the working figure in society. If you’re not one for parades, you usually at least get a nice little day off to celebrate it…

And so I thought, why doesn’t Pretzels and Bullfights take the time to share in a bit of that hardworking praise? So we turn to an author by the name of Henry Van Dyke, who, while spiritual in much of his scribblings, offered in the form of his poem, “They Who Tread the Path of Labor,” a very exalted look at the wonder of human dedication. We have all, I am sure, felt the wears of exhaustion–but is there any greater feeling than knowing we have truly accomplished something with our own two hands? Through the application of our human endurance to overcome the toils? Van Dyke captured beautifully, here, the praise we should all sing for the multitude, the very backbone of society, past and present.


~Chris Galford

They Who Tread the Path of Labor
They who tread the path of labor follow where My feet have trod;
They who work without complaining, do the holy will of God;
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;
Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me, clease the wood and I am there.Where the many toil together, there am I among My own;
Where the tired workman sleepeth, there am I with him alone:
I, the Peace that passeth knowledge, dwell amid the daily strife;
I, the Bread of Heav’n am broken in the sacrement of life.

Every task, however simple, sets the soul that does it free;
Every deed of love and mercy, done to man is done to Me.
Nevermore thou needest seek me; I am with thee everywhere;
Raise the stone, and thou shalt find Me; cleave the wood, and I am there.

~Henry Van Dyke