One day back in May (our wedding anniversary actually) I was making the most of a few minutes before friends were dropping by to visit and decided to quickly pull the weeds from the front of the house. Maddy and I were moving along pretty quickly until I felt an awful prick in my finger. OUCH! I quickly drug Maddy inside so that I could inspect it, leaving the trash bag and pile of weeds on the porch.
“How do I get this thing out…we don’t even have a pair of tweezers in the house…but even if I did, it’s in my right hand so there’s no way I’m ambidextrous enough to get it out! GAH! OOhhh, didn’t I see something on youtube about baking soda helping to remove splinters!”
*search for baking soda splinter video on youtube ensues.*
All of my effort was futile (that splinter wasn’t going ANYWHERE) and our friends arrived just moments later as I doctored my now throbbing finger. I even tried my beloved essential oils, which I do believe kept it from getting infected, but this little splinter from the weeds was so skinny and so deep I just couldn’t get it out.
So I left it alone. It was better for me to just leave it than to keep aggravating it.
Do you know how hard it is to have a permanent pain in the pointer finger of your dominant hand? Maybe you do. Basically, it affects everything that you do. Keeps you from using your finger properly, slows you down, etc. For the last 4.5 months that’s exactly what I have worked around.
It didn’t take long before the Lord prompted me to pray for my friends (who had been here visiting when the splinter incident happened). See, they were/are going through some transition and seeking the Lord’s direction. I sensed pretty clearly that if I was patient, the splinter would eventually work its way out when the time was right.
As I waited and prayed these last few months, I have been reminded of the need for space and simply processing life. Each of us need time to work through and heal from hurtful experiences. If we don’t take that time, the wounds never heal and any emotion from that season becomes a root of bitterness. This kind of life is a direct contradiction to what believers are called to live:
“And walk in love,
as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us,
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
-Ephesians 5:2 (ESV)
The last two weeks I have felt a little more discomfort in my finger than was normal-I took that as a sign that the splinter was nearing its departure from my skin. As much as I wanted to dig it out, poke and prod at it again, it wasn’t going to do any good. I decided to pray and wait some more. Sure enough, earlier in the week as I was doing dishes something hit it and when I dried my hands afterwards, that nagging splinter was gone!
It left a tiny crater of a scar, which will forever remind me to trust God’s process of timing and healing so that I can live love the way God intends!