Monday, January 05, 2009

A painful lesson

You might want to avoid the picture - it's kinda gross. You can probably imagine it just fine withought the graphics. Don't say I didn't warn ya...
It was a few days before Christmas and we'd gotten hit with a cold spell (any other Pacific Northwesterners out there... what the heck happened? We got SNOWED IN at Puget Sound???)
We could often be found standing near the woodstove to warm up. It was kinda adventuristic (yeah I made that up) being "trapped" at home with nothing to do but wrap presents and enjoy eachother's company.
(This would not be the time to remind me that 3 days inside the house with a coughing 2-year old and 14 showings of the Elf movie = CABIN FEVER).
So I slunk over to my usual spot to warm my backside. Itty Bit was running in circles everywhere... (What the heck do they put in that grape cough syrup? I'm tellin ya, it's like speed for kids or something...)
Anyway - he tired of it and decided to clamber up next to me to share the warmth. I was only half paying attention - focused mostly on keeping my own balance as he tried to step up on the hearth.
Before I knew it, he was tumbling forward. And by forward, I meant TOWARD the blistering surface of the woodstove.
And in my warm and cozy and totally unathletic state, I reacted.
I still wasn't actually fully looking at him, but somehow I pushed him aside and tried to cushion his landing backwards.
See, backwards was key. And he did fall backwards.
So did I.
Except backwards was the other way for me.
I felt it immediately. I could swear I even heard it.
That awful sizzle of skin against cast iron that is containing a roaring fire.

It was ugly, folks. I yelped like the dickens. Blistering and peeling skin and all that.
(Come on you guys... admit that you're breathing a sigh of relief that it was Mom instead of Itty Bit, right? :)
By the time I got a picture, it was several days past. On the mend but still real purty.
(here's the part I warned ya about...)


All I could keep thinking (as I laid awake unable to sleep because every move rubbed the burn against something), was how incredibly grateful I was that I had this dumb stinging burn on my elbow - instead of my son having a permanent scar on his face.


And let me tell ya... your mind goes a lot of places when you're hurting and you can't sleep. I started thinking about how painful it would have been for me to see that injury on my son's face. Painful for him and for me.

I realized that this kind of situation could be applied to so much more.


Like when I'm impatient with God and want things to change now.

Through 7 years of infertility and impatience and giving up on God.

Through 28 years of wanting to be someone else - someone who could hear.

Through a lifetime of caring about things that won't matter in the big picture.

I started thinking about the "wounds" in my life. Things that I resented having to feel pain for. I certainly don't have the big picture. But that little incident with my beloved son helped me realize that sometimes... God allows us to deal with the pain and discomfort of smaller things - to avoid a larger hurt.

To trust Him through loneliness, rather than suffer through an abusive relationship. To not get what we want, to realize later that it would have been a terrible choice. Even to have a surgery to save a life.

So for now, I'm wearing this yucky looking owie with pride. It was a hard-earned bit of gratefulness.


Elyse said...

Holy Cow...OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!! Hope the pain goes away soon and your arm feels better pronto!

Mom Of Many said...

Sweet friend,
I'm soooo very sorry for your pain, but grateful for the special time the Lord allowed enabling you to hear Him speak...funny how that works...some of the worst is some of the best! Only God can do that!

Hugs from our snowy home to yours - OH! And I need to build a's 7 degrees out...and probably not much more in here (okay, so it is, but it FEELS like it's only 7) BRRRRR xo

He & Me + 3 said...

So so true. I do not try & hide the scar on my neck. I thank God for my scars because they make me thankful everyday for the life I have in Christ...the healer of all wounds past & present.
Beautiful post my friend!

Carla (Choosing His Joy) said...

I love this post--very insightful and very true. I dont love the burn, but sooooo grateful it was your elbow instead of your son's face. Praise God for interceeding in that way!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome way to distract yourself from the blistering pain. I cringed when I read the words. I've balked when dh said he wanted a wood stove, and now another reason why.
I pray you heal quickly!

Alicia W. said...

OUCH! Poor thing - I hope it heals nicely.

Stacy said...

Oh, owie! You embraced it as a lesson, though, and it is so true. Good mommy, too, for saving your little guy from a bad burn.

Killlashandra said...

Sorry to hear about the burn, good insight on the reflection. It will heal though. I'm glad Itty Bitty missed the wood stove. That would be have been super bad.