Major Lessons from a Minor Cut

People post the cutest, funniest, and wisest things on Facebook. Two weeks ago, fellow writer Lisa Jordan wrote on her Facebook page: “Typing with a Band-aid on is like talking with a mouthful of Novocaine.”

I chuckled at her simile (after I looked up simile and metaphor to figure out which one it was) and moved on. A few days later, I accidentally cut the cuticle on the middle finger of my right hand. No problem. Compared to other injuries I’ve suffered over the years, on a scale of one to ten, this didn’t even merit a one. I covered it with some first-aid cream and a BAND-AID® and went on with my day.

By Day 3, the cut still bled when touched and the area around it was inflamed and painful. I saturated it with hydrogen peroxide (ouch), then continued to cover it with first-aid cream and a bandage. Typing became more difficult, and I was reminded of Lisa’s quote.

This continued for another week without improvement. Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I am living proof that he was correct.

By Day 10, the skin around the finger tip had turned white from infection. A friend with a medical background called the area “angry. ” Trust me, you don’t want any part of your body angry with you. She strongly recommended that I have a doctor take care of it.  I finally did…two days later. Result: painful injections, cutting, and a prescription for antibiotics. Typing is still painful, and Lisa’s quote is a little less amusing.

As I ponder my painful finger, I wonder how many times I’ve behaved in a similar way with people. When others who are hurting share their pain, do I cover the problem with a few Bible verses, slap on a prayer “BAND-AID®” and move on, leaving a festering, infected wound under a clean bandage?

When writer friends share their frustrations over their latest writing obstacle or a recent rejection, do I slap on some “first aid” sympathy and move on to share my own writing difficulties? Or do I show sincere compassion for their frustrations?

When a class member misses several classes due to family issues, am I oblivious to the needs of my students? Or am I quick to notice and provide encouragement?

There’s nothing wrong with sharing Scripture and prayer with hurting people. However let’s not do it in such a way that we become “hit and run” Christians. We can take the time to really listen and be there for others, or we can treat them like today’s “project,” only to shuffle them off tomorrow.

How will you respond the next time someone shares a hurt with you?