Several years ago I was working in a grocery store deli and had been put in charge of meat and cheese. I went from working various hours, often till closing time at 10 pm, to a set schedule of 7am to 3:30 pm every day…with two days off. I liked this much better. Then one day, in December, I got called in to work the evening shift because someone hadn’t shown up and the deli was short-handed. I said fine and went in to work.
It was a busy evening and I was glad it was about to end. Customers were down to only a few, so the deli manager suggested I clean the cheese slicer so we could get out of there on time. I was wiping crumbs from behind the blade of the slicer, when a customer arrived. The other worker was not in sight, so I stopped cleaning, moved my hand, and felt my finger hit the blade. “We’ll be right with you,” I told the customer. He nodded and the other worker appeared to take his order. It was then I realized my finger was cut. The blade had hit the knuckle of my right index finger and it was starting to bleed. The manager came in and I told her I’d cut my finger. She grabbed a white apron and wrapped it around my hand and told me to go to the pharmacy and let them look at it.
I wound up in the emergency room of the local hospital where they patched my finger up and sent me home… with instructions to return the next morning so my finger could be seen by a surgeon and stitched up. I slept with my finger elevated and returned to the hospital the next morning. The surgeon looked at it, explained to me that because of toxins left behind on the blade from the meat and cheese being very infectious to humans my finger would have to be irrigated (flushed with water) then stitched up.
Afterwards, I was told that a tendon in my finger had been cut through and my hand would be in a cast for a few weeks. Because of the toxins from the meat and cheese, I would have to be given antibiotics through an IV three times a day for the next 3 days. I could remain in the hospital for this or go home with a needle in my hand and return 3 times a day and be hooked up to the IV…I chose to stay in the hospital. All this time I kept thinking: All this for a cut finger???
We had recently joined a local church and once they heard about my accident the ladies brought food for Jim and our three kids and the Pastor even offered to let our son, who was 6 at the time, spend the day with him while the girls went home with my niece. I was so grateful for all the help and thanked God for sending us to Fox Avenue Baptist Church.
It turned out that my finger would need 12 weeks of therapy in order to regain use of it. It simply refused to bend. This meant I would be off work for three months. I was able to get workman’s comp through the grocery store…and they were ordered to provide metal gloves for workers to wear when cleaning the slicers.
Now I found myself sitting at home and learning to do everything with one hand. Luckily I am left-handed so I was able to write and soon was able to crochet in spite of my finger. Many hours were spent working with my finger exercises and trying to get it to bend…just enough to close my hand around the slicer handle was my goal. Again and again, I asked: All this for a cut finger??? Why? Only later would I be able to look back and see the good that came from this time of being shut down and staying at home.
Since we had joined the church, I had gotten very few Sundays off in order to attend. Jim and the kids went a few times without me, but usually just stayed home. During the time I was off work, we attended every service, the kids got involved with activities and we all got to know the Pastor and his family. I spent much more time in Bible study and felt closer to God and more blessed that I had in quite some time…maybe that was His intention all along. Maybe it took a cut finger and a lot of free time for Him to get my attention…He knows what we need even before we ask.
People across the world right now have found ourselves shut down… with little or no work and orders to stay at home. We are saying to ourselves: “Why all this for just a virus??” We’ve faced much worse, yet, aside from this Corona thing, only war has made such an impact on our world. Why??? Is God trying to tell us something? Are we listening?
As with my finger, it might be a while after this crisis passes before we can look back and see a possible reason for the unusual circumstances, but there is a reason…and only God knows.
In the meantime, why not make the best of our extra time at home? Many are doing their spring cleaning, sanitizing everything and catching up with family. Some kids are playing board games and actually interacting with each other one on one in person. Some are actually enjoying doing their school work on-line. If nothing better comes from it than families growing closer, we love a little harder, learn to appreciate what we have and end up with extra toilet paper, it will turn out well…but there’s more we should be doing.
For God’s people, may we use this time to comfort, encourage, be patient and kind, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. As it says in Isaiah 60: 1 Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
The sun comes up every morning, so let’s rise and shine for Him. Let’s not waste our time asking why, but how. How can we help each other and draw closer to God at the same time? We know whom we have believed and we know He can be trusted. He’s the keeper of our souls, the One who calms the waters and has seen us safely through many storms. The fields are ripe for harvest…let us start bringing in the sheaves!