So, your fingers are sort of a big deal. Did you know that? Bet you haven’t really considered that as of late, have you? Ask any three fingered man, and they will back me up on this. In fact, five out of five of three fingered men agree that the importance of phalanges is not to be minimized. I came to understand this harsh reality last night, and I am proud to proclaim that I really appreciate my fingers.
Yesterday evening, my wife and I were getting dressed to meet some friends for dinner. I went through my usual routine getting dressed. There was only one step left, throw on my watch and wedding band. The watch went on successfully; the ring did not! I had worked outside in the heat all day. In fact, several hours were spent working in my attic, which we refer to as the outer circle of hell. I did not make the connection that my fingers might be swollen and holding fluids from working in the heat. In my hurry to get ready so we could walk out the door, I rammed my ring down on my finger. It decided to get conveniently stuck on my knuckle. When I say stuck, I mean stuck; like sunk up to your neck in quicksand stuck. It would not budge off of my knuckle.
I thought to myself, “No big deal.” I went to the bathroom and ran it under cold water, added a little soap, and expected my ring to slide ride off. This did absolutely nothing for my cause. I started to notice my finger turn a deep red. My blood pressure spiked a little at this point. The most important thing in the world at that moment was for my ring to come off finger number three.
I decided to enlist the help of my wife. She brought me some cold ice water and baby oil. I soaked my finger in subfreezing water for about ten minutes and then tried the baby oil. All this was to no avail. My finger is moving from bright red to a reddish blue.
At this point my wife and I have a mini-meeting, and decide we should probably go to the emergency room. Neither of us could think of any other options. I would rather be punched in the face by ten large men than go to the ER. A couple of months ago I had a large gash in my forehead and refrained from going to the ER. For me to go to the ER on this short of notice should reveal the panic I could feel, not to mention that my finger is starting to throb in pain.
We call my parents and let them know we will drop of our son with them so we can go to the emergency room. When we pull up, my dad says, “Let me try to get that thing off.” We go inside and he says, “We have to squeeze the fluid out of your finger past the ring.” He then proceeds to grab my ring finger. He squeezes it tighter than any finger has ever been squeezed. He squeezed so hard that had he been milking a cow with this grip, it would have killed the cow. My dad is no small guy. In High School they called him “The Animal”. Sound’s intimidating, huh?
He keeps squeezing. I can literally feel the blood and fluid squeezing underneath the ring. I was concerned that his squeezing might force the fluid OUT of my finger instead of under the ring. It hurt so bad I almost threw up (don’t judge me punk).
Once the flood was gone, the ring slid down. He squeezed some more. I soaped up my finger and tried to slide it off. I was making progress at this point, all the while my dad is yelling in the background, “Get that ring off. Get it off. I said get it off boy.” Ahhhh. At last. Sweet victory. I could feel the blood rush back into my finger. I didn’t even have to sit at the ER for hours and pay hundreds. It was a moment of sweet victory.
That is how I really came to appreciate my fingers. Without that third finger where would I be? No more guitar playing. My typing would be hindered. My blog posts would take much longer to write. I would have to wear my ring on my right hand. Everyone would inquire why I was missing a finger, and I would have to tell them this stupid story. I never knew that finger was such a big deal, until I ran the risk of losing it. Okay, I know I wouldn’t have lost it, but I still came to really appreciate it.
How often do we go through life never realizing how blessed we are? What areas do we fail to appreciate? When was the last time that you thought, “Wow, I am incredibly blessed to have ________.” When was the last time you were thankful for your: health, family, wife, church, talents, salvation, job, home, friendships, fingers, etc?
Even though life is hard at times we still have so much to be thankful for. In fact, so often everything is amazing and we fail to notice it. What would happen if we stopped from time to time to give thanks for so many blessings that we so often fail to notice?
As Joni Mitchell (and Amy Grant and Counting Crows) use to croon, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you get ‘til it’s gone?” Let’s not wait for a crisis to force us to appreciate our blessings. Lets count them daily.
By the way, my finger still hurts.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.
What are you thankful for right now?