Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black and Blue

I remember one day when I was a kid; I went to the garage for some tools to work on my tree fort. So I picked up my Dad’s claw hammer from his work bench and a bag of 6 penny nails.
It wasn’t too long before I was heading to the tree fort to make some repairs. With good intentions and a pound of misguided steel I missed the nail and smacked my thumb with the blunt end of the force. As you can imagine it hurt so bad that I saw lots of stars, and the moon, even though it was in the middle of the day.

My mouth froze wide open and I locked my eyes straight ahead as I tried to process this one of a kind unpleasant event. My lower lip instantly began to quiver and the tears began to fall and the reality of what just happened took a grip on my central nervous system. I quietly screamed inside of my head as the adrenaline kicked in and forced me to dance like a chicken with its head cut off in the back yard. My spontaneous reaction misguided my thinking and I grabbed on tight to my wounded thumb which amplified the pain!

So I promptly tucked my thumb in my mouth and sucked on it like a little kid, but the pain grew worse as my finger grew numb.
Then all the sudden it turned black and blue so I decided to get a needle from my mom’s sewing machine to release the pressure as it built up. I pulled out the thread and turned on the stove to sterilize the tip as I forced a hole through the top of the finger nail just to release the pressure. The heat of the needle didn’t help much more but just like that the blood oozed out from the pin hole and the throbbing started to subside.

On that hot summer day so many years ago I learned a few valuable lessons on how not to hold a nail, or how not to grab a throbbing thumb, or not to shake a wounded thumb just after it was hurt. I must confess that even though there have been one or two rare occasions where history has repeated itself and I’ve missed and hit my fingers just like I when I was a kid, it still hurt and brought back some memories that would have like to have forgotten about.

Now as an adult I must admit that I’m not as dramatic as I once was when I savored the pain and cried out for sympathy. Hitting your thumb with a hammer is not fun and yet it happens to the best of us and it should never be regarded as normal because it will always hurt no matter who does it. As an adult you tend to develop a greater tolerance for pain and you seemingly find comfort in just shaking it off and say “ouch” a little less.

I got to thinking about this while I was writing this story and I this thought popped into my head. “Could it be that there may be a bigger problem lurking in our society of being too insensitive towards our own pain and the suffering of others because over the years we’ve learned to cope and endure pain but in turn it causes us to be calloused?

On occasion when I was at home I was referred to as “Doctor Map”, because I was the one assigned to pulled out the splinters, put on the bandages, comfort my kids and rubbed their backs when they were sick and threw up, or once I sewed in my own stitches when I accidentally stabbed myself deep into my hand with a chisel when I was carving.

As I’ve looked into the blood shot eyes of my own children who have cried out in pain when they would stub their toes or experience pain from a fall or from a friend who betrayed them or a pet that died, I can’t help but think how many people in this world truly suffer daily with a persistent pain and sorrow and have no one to comfort them, instead they literally have to suffer internally on their own.

As you can imagine, there are probably millions of individuals tucked throughout the world who suffer daily under the authority of misguided leaders and wicked individuals who love to control populations through sinful motives, countless criminal activities, money, wars, famine, and sickness and in death.

The world has groaned and moaned with pain since the beginning of time and yet Jesus the son of God came 2,000 years ago to save the lost. As the authorities had him crucified, the soldiers pounded nails directly into His feet and hands. Jesus as he was in pain cried out and said “father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Jesus said come unto me and I will give you rest. The scripture teaches that we need to weep with those who weep, and laugh with those who laugh, but most of all to encourage others put their trust in Jesus as their savior. I believe that being calloused causes insensitivity towards the lost souls of this world.

Hitting your finger with a hammer is not normal but being insensitive to the suffering of others is truly abnormal.

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