There is a running joke in my house that I am not allowed near knives or other sharp objects as I tend to hurt myself using them. There is one infamous story that includes me using a craft knife on Boxing Day that ended in needing stitches and acquiring a broken needle in my thumb! I have sliced open mostly fingers and parts of my hand using a variety of kitchen utensils. On the whole, I am able to navigate the preparation of meals without incident, but every few years there is a momentary lapse in concentration and I end up with a new scar.
This most recent incident was as I was cutting pumpkin for dinner. Not the most taxing activity, but one where, with an unfortunately timed distraction, I ended up with the kitchen knife embedded in my thumb. Not deep enough for stitches, but enough to mean I will have the reminder of this slip for a number of weeks as my nail grows out!
You would think that I would learn from these accidents, and I sort of do. I now know not to try and cut plastic with a craft knife, or to have the cockatiel on my shoulder when cutting pumpkin, or use the ‘v-slicer’ without it’s protective cover, but I have yet to learn to treat sharp objects with extreme care. You see, I seem to have learned the specific dangers, but not the overall principle.
As I tape my thumb every morning I have cause to reflect on those instances in life that can dramatically change our nice, neat existence. Often these occasions cause pain and leave scars that can remind us of the trauma we faced. Not all of our scars are visible to the outside world. Some of them we hold deep within and they impact us in significant ways as we navigate life. These can affect how we respond to a variety of situations and individuals.
It is impossible, I believe, to live on this earth and not receive scars of some kind. We need to remember this as we move among other people. Just as we have scars, so do others, and perhaps their pain is more recent and fresh. Some also seem to repeat the same mistakes in life over and over again, and it’s so easy to judge. Jesus reminds us that it is important to “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke chapter 6 verse 31). We expect that others will make allowances for the scars we have collected throughout life, and so we need to extend the same grace we wish to have extended to us.
Life is tricky and full of hazards, but worth living despite the prospect of pain and scars. Remember that when you are experiencing any hurtful situation that comes your way, or when facing those who have been hurt themselves. Oh, and remember to always take care around sharp objects.