I am used to minor cuts and scraps. I rarely accomplish a mechanical or construction task without a little blood. I used to say, "It is a way to refresh my supply." Success is often measured not in the quality or completion of the work, but the lack of physical damage to my body. Those cuts and scraps usually involve a little lost skin and a few drops of blood. They might sting a little and perhaps require a Band Aide or two.
There have been a few times when the damage has been more severe. A few time I have hand to deal with a deeper gash and more than once I have been forced to visit the ER for a few stitches. The first Dr. visit requiring stitches was when I was a toddler (so I am told). I was in a walker and walked off my grandparents porch, putting a gash over my eye. I still have a scar in my eyebrow from that adventure. The next one I know about was when I was five and ran my hand into the wringer of an old washing machine at the neighbor's. I do have a reflection or two of that event, and yes a scar in the palm of my hand. There are others, fingers, knees, and one rather nasty scrap on my back from a rock climbing accident. All this to say I am familiar with minor, self-inflicted maladies.
Last week I got another. I was cutting some ice cream birthday cake which was frozen solid. The knife (thanks Amber for those deadly kitchen knifes by the way) slipped and cut my forefinger and thumb. The cut on my thumb was deep and quite a bleeder. In fact, it bled (well both did) for a couple of days, not constant but not a little either. I have had a bandage on them until today, over a week. The worst part has been the discomfort of my thumb. I do so much with the tip of my thumb and that is where it is cut. I had trouble tying my shoes, opening band aides, and zipper closers on baggies. For a week it has hurt and still does today. I didn't need (or get) stitches, but it was not a little scrap.
I am reminded of the wounds life brings us on our spiritual journey. Some are minor, barely noticeable. Some are so bad that they take us out and challenge our faith altogether. Too many of them are self-inflicted. As with my thumb, sometimes the wounds hamper us more than we imagine. Maybe they are disappointments, maybe sins. Whatever they are, we can linger for far too long. As I sit here, my thumb is improving, almost back to normal. The body does heal itself with a little help. So does the soul. The lesson is don't let these wounds take us out. It may take time, but we can heal, and maybe, just maybe learn from the incident.