In my last blog (On Losing a Finger), I told you about a friend who had an unfortunate run-in with a table saw. The saw prevailed, and he is sans one knuckle. As he now likes to say, “I fought the saw, and the saw won.” (He’s very clever that way.) I’m not sure how Bobby Fuller feels about him perverting that line, but I thought it was pretty funny.
As I chronicled in that now infamous blog, I’ve lost a few minor body parts myself. My losses were of the more normal variety, however. You know—gallbladder, appendix, teeth, etc. For me, however, additions have been far more important than extractions.
Take, for example, things like fillings, caps, and crowns. I would have considerably fewer teeth if it weren’t for these trimmings (although, the root canals that accompanied some of these items weren’t the most pleasant experiences). Add-ons like these, though sometimes attained through uncomfortable procedures, are welcome embellishments.
My Metal Ear
Then there is that little piece of titanium in my ear. Without it, I would certainly be deaf by now. If you ask my lovely Bride, she would tell you it didn’t help, but what does she know? She’s not a doctor (although she plays one in our household). Her claim to fame is plucking out my stray eyebrow hairs. Man, do I hate losing those things. Talk about painful!
When my buddy lost the tip of his finger, I looked at my own and realized I would have less pain in my life if I lost mine. I have arthritis there, and if it was gone… Well, you get the picture. Mind you, I am not making plans to have that procedure done anytime soon (particularly with a table saw). I’m planning to keep as much of my body intact as possible.
Then, of course, there was the Lasik surgery done on my eyes eleven years ago. They didn’t add anything, but they stuck a laser beam in my orbs and rearranged a few things. What an amazing transformation that was. In seconds, my world suddenly came into focus. As Johnny Nash once sang, “I can see clearly, now.”
What’s the Point?
The point of all this (if there is one) is that we don’t necessarily need everything with which we’ve been supplied. Plus, if we do need anything else, we can often add a few things to make up for any inadequacies. I don’t often cite Job (pronounced jobe), but an oft-quoted passage in that book says that the Lord gave and has taken away. To that, I would only add, “He sure has.” You may add a hearty “amen” if you’d like.
More importantly, I would like to stop here and say, “I give praise to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for all my additions and blessed subtractions.” The Bible says to praise and thank God in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). How can I withhold that? It’s been a great life (painful knuckles notwithstanding).
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]