A river in Egypt

I broke my finger a few months ago while moving some stepping stones. I set one on top of another while deciding where to move them. Unfortunately the top rock dropped down on the bottom rock while my finger was still between them.

There was a quick jolt. And if hitting my toe on a piece of furniture at night has taught me anything, I knew that what I would feel in a few seconds was going to be much worse than the jolt. You know what I mean. There are no words for the pain. Well, there are words… only I don’t want to type them in case my mom reads this.

So immediately after the jolt I knew I had a moment before the real ouch was going to hit, and I did what many people would do. I worked as hard as I could to finish that job. That sense of, “scam, the cops are coming!” put me in overdrive. I got the rock moved and I think pulled a weed or two before the bells in my nervous system chimed in.

And it reminded me of something. (Later, that is. At that moment I was watching my finger swell.)

It reminded me of a married couple I had met about 20 years ago. They had an odd look about them that I didn’t understand until later. There was a frantic kind of way they talked about how they met. In summary, the woman (with kids) left her husband to marry his twin brother. I was looking at the wife and the brother-in-law-now-husband. The uncle-now-step-dad. They had a look that said, “At any minute our brains are going to figure out that we have a gaping injury and boy is it going to hurt. But first let’s laugh nervously and search everyone’s eyes for some sort of sign that what we did was right. It can’t be wrong if it felt so right, right? RIGHT?” It wasn’t long after we met that it did hit. It was a very sad situation.

If only this was about other people and their stupid mistakes and denial. Wouldn’t that be nice.

But of course there have been spans of time in my life in which I’ve felt the hurried, “quick, before my conscience finds out” feeling. It’s almost like a spiritual blackout. In those moments I don’t want you to tell me what the Bible says about xyz, I don’t want to submit to God’s leading, I don’t want to pour my heart out to God, I don’t want his comfort, I’m going to pretend he’s not interested. I’m going to do what I’m going to do.

Now if this is true of me, it is certainly true for someone else. Maybe a few someones. Maybe many.

But I have seen it in me, and sometimes I can sense it in others.

No answers here, just an observation: For myself, I did eventually feel the pain in my finger. And that messed up couple did eventually start counselling. And I did start speaking to God again after my own denial of his importance in my life. The Holy Spirit is quite the persistent One. He’s not afraid to wait, and wait, and wait. And if he lives in you, you will eventually see and feel the results of a spiritual injury (sin). But that’s a good thing because seeing and feeling and repenting leads to grace and gratitude and joy. Healing, in other words.

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