Call it the power of suggestion or the truth of reality, but it sure makes things different to have Someone to be grateful to rather than only something to be grateful for — and as a result speak/sing more truth into words than I’d ever managed before.
So here’s what happened to me today:
I was rootling in my big ol’ jute bag for this and that, when I felt a piercing pain in my right ring finger. A quick investigation revealed horror I could not even comprehend — the lead from an uncapped mechanical pencil had shot straight into my nail bed perfectly perpendicular (see above) and it was in so deep that the edge was below where the nail and flesh separated.
Shock, then pain again. Then panic because there was no way I was going to get the alien invasion out by myself. Doctor? Some distance away. Wait for it to grow out? Maybe I can get used to the pain. Arghhh, prayer!!! The most basic prayer of all — help me, God!!!
A bit more context: I was amidst a crowd gathering for the Urban Peacemaker Evangelistic Fellowship’s Dragon Boat Festival programme, basically a time when churches in various areas would come together to visit lower-income folks, bearing rice dumplings, other gifts and any amount of time that’s needed for a good chat. So basically, there were a number of the crowd that I knew.
I ran up to the closest sister in Christ and held up my affliction to her in despair. She was like, “Ack!”, but didn’t quite know what to do, and spread the news to another sister, who didn’t quite know what to do either, but both started panicking along with me in sweet solidarity. All this time, the pain and horror were being dulled by my mental resources, but they would’ve run out sooner or later.
Then, salvation came in the form of a just-arrived sister — she didn’t have to turn up for the programme, having had another event open to her, but she did come, and saved me! You see, dear reader, she was once a nurse, and there was simply no one else that could have known exactly what to do and do it well, apart from her.
She asked for and got a needle, and pulled my hand toward her gently. The two soul sisters who had been panicking alongside me got into position — one ferreted out the needle and pulled out the first aid kit; the other hugged me steady from behind and told me not to look (that was really good advice as I just about freaked out when I kept my eyes open in the following few seconds).
The first attempt — dig, dig, PIERCE, pull away! “You mustn’t pull away.” “OK. Sorry.” I reach out with my left hand and try to steady my right. Second attempt — dig, dig, dig, PIERCE!! “You’re too stiff, try to relax.” “Sorry, OK, I’ll try.” Third attempt — dig, dig, prick, dig, dig, PIERCE, dig dig dig. “It’s out.”
I could barely believe it, but it was true. Still a bit dazed I was as another team effort dripped some antiseptic into the bleeding furrow in my nail bed. Yes, it was over! Hugs all around, pats for being brave, thanks for getting me through this. Then the worship time started (revving up the troops by reminding them about Who they’re stepping out for — that this is not only for the sake of the folks they’re visiting, but also a test to find out for themselves whether they could apply what they’ve learnt in church and spread the love they have so generously been given). The first song went like this:
— 讚美耶和華 by 林浩揚
Jehovah Jireh — The LORD provides.
Jehovah Rapha — The LORD who heals.
You are my strength, my rescuer.
You can imagine just how grateful, how acutely conscious, how astounded, how tearful, how sincere I was — how I was shouting from my soul — as I sang those words.
So, thank You, and good night.