First off allow me to apologize for being scarce the last couple of weeks here on ABF. There has been an awful lot going on in real life, so the blog has had to take a back seat. I’ve had emergency marital interventions, funerals, family members passing away, my kids in a play, church budget, sermon prep and 80 +/- research papers to grade. It’s been a tad bit over the top!
Trust me, there is a post to come before too long about how a shepherd needs a heart that hurts when his sheep hurt and skin that is so thick he doesn’t bleed when they bite. It might even end up as a series.
For now, though, a quick episode from tonight. Sometimes life gets ugly in a hurry, but if dad is around we can make it.
My son James is a knife aficionado. He loves knives, and at 10 years old I think he owns 18 of them. He has them in all different varieties, and a couple of the guys at church like to feed his addiction when they find them. Well James got a new knife this morning from one of them. It’s a fixed blade, made of good steel, and super sharp.
So as I was grading papers this evening, he was about to walk down the hall and put this new knife away and took it out of his pocket in its sheath. The only problem was that the sheath slipped off as he did. Here is what I heard.
CLANG…(the knife hitting the floor)
”Uh oh, I cut myself…I’m BLEEDING! AHHHHHHH IT HURTS!!!” Followed by unintelligible wailing.
So I jettisoned the laptop and ran toward the bathroom where he went screaming. (yes I picked the knife up on my way…there are little girls in my house!) He was crying pretty hard and running it under some water when I got there.
I came in behind him and did some quick triage. It was bleeding pretty heavy but wasn’t spurting or anything; probably a fairly painful but hopefully not serious flesh wound. It was on the pad of his right index finger, so it wasn’t in a spot to cut a ligament or tendon. It was bleeding a good bit though, and water wouldn’t help. So I squeezed it between my thumb and forefinger and turned the water off.
At the same time I started talking to him, asking him to breath long breaths (a kenpo trick) and look at me. Me adding pressure certainly didn’t make it feel better, but I needed to do it to start the wound coagulating. Laura distracted him too, and before long the hysteria went away. He finally controlled his breathing and calmed down even though it probably still hurt like heck with me squeezing it.
He didn’t know it but we were not far from heading out for stitches! Somehow I knew that if I got stressed it would be worse, so I just stayed cool as a cucumber. I kept my voice down and just helped him stop the bleeding and calm his heart.
We held it a few minutes to get it to stop bleeding (mostly), then put a band aid on it with some Neosporin pain relief on it. We talked about lessons learned and how grateful we were that he would be okay. All in all the whole thing took maybe 7 or 8 minutes. After James left Laura the bathroom Laura told me how glad she was that I was there because she would have freaked out at the blood.
Sometimes we just need our dad.
That is what I see in the Psalms as well. In one of the most famous Psalms (it was quoted by Jesus on the cross!) the Psalmist asks the Father for protection from all of the problems and dangers around him as well:
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18 They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O Lord, be not far off;
O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
My only life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me. (Psalm 22:15-21)
The Psalmist knows where his protection and provision are. When his life got impossible he called out to his Daddy, who answered him and protected him. That’s what my son did tonight. He had never been cut like that and was in a lot of pain; he just cried out. Though he never mentioned my name I was there as soon as I heard the distress in his voice. Pretty soon dad had everything under control.
May we never forget that the Lord is our deliverer. He is our strength, and when we hurt or are lost or sorrowful we can cry out to Him. He will be there in a moment, calming our fears and bringing peace and healing if we will only let Him. Sometimes we may not know what He is doing; it may even hurt more for a time when He shows up. Still, with His arms around us and Him handling our pain and our wounds we too can calm our fears and rest in His arms.