Thursday, April 2, 2015


Today in my science methods class, I had students extracting DNA from strawberries. It's a fun lab, and I deliberately use materials they can easily get their hands on--things from the grocery store or Walmart--to help make science more accessible, for them, and for their future students. After class, I was picking things up, washing out a few stray plastic tubs and putting away the rubbing alcohol and dish detergent. I was putting away a package of bamboo skewers when it happened...

I accidentally--clumsy me--smacked the end of the package of skewers into the edge of the shelf I was setting it on. One skewer punctured the end of the package...and also the palm of my hand. What, you can't see my wound in the picture? 

Okay, with the close-up, you can almost see it, right? Trust me, when it first happened, it was hurting pretty badly, and bleeding quite a bit too. I washed it out right away, and put pressure on it for a few minutes, and it got better.

But it still hurts a bit, particularly when I straighten my fingers (which stretches the skin a bit.)

Its an annoyance now, but it hurt in the moment. Skin is not made to be broken. Thankfully, however, it is made to heal up again, though you might have a scar remaining behind.

I'm thinking about wounds right now.

I'm thinking about how much it hurt, and how much it bled, 
when this little bamboo skewer pierced a quarter-inch 
into the palm of my hand.

I'm thinking about Jesus, taking a much larger nail...not just
pricking the skin, but fastening his hand
to the rough wood.

I'm thinking about the annoying little flap of skin that seems 
to catch on things when my hand brushes against something, 
giving me a little flash of discomfort.

I'm thinking about nails, tearing skin and muscle and tendon,
pushing bones out of place.

I'm thinking about squeezing a paper towel against my palm 
for a few minutes to stop the bleeding.

I'm thinking about blood running down arms and feet and brow,
dropping in puddles on the ground.

I am thankful for this tiny wound in my hand. Not thankful for the pain of it, exactly...but thankful for the reminder I get from each jolt as it catches and stretches.

I am thankful for the wounds.

Tonight we have a Maundy Thursday service at my church, where we will celebrate at the Table, remembering sacrifice, broken flesh, and poured out blood.

Wounds are on my mind.

"Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all."

Isaiah 53:4-6

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