On Losing a Finger

A couple of days ago, a good friend of mine cut off his finger. He was laying some flooring in his home, which had to be cut with a table saw. He was almost done when, all of a sudden, one of his fingers ended up on the table, as it were. He was alone at the time, so he drove himself to the emergency room. Fortunately, he lives rather close to the hospital, so getting there wasn’t as traumatic as it could have been.

When I say he cut off his finger, I’m exaggerating a tad. He actually cut it off just past the first knuckle (or would that be the last knuckle). I’m not sure if one counts these things from the tip of the finger inward or from the palm outward. Suffice it to say, he has one less knuckle these days.

After he had been stitched up and bandaged and the ordeal was over, I jokingly told his wife that he probably wasn’t going need it anyway. She just stared at me like I was an idiot (in which regard she could be my own spouse’s twin sister). In her defense, it was somewhat of an idiotic joke, but think about it this way.

Fifty-Five Years of Disuse

Mikey (the dude with the missing body part) and I have been friends since junior high. We were about thirteen when we met. Over thepast fifty-five years, I can’t remember him ever using that digit. After all, it’s the pointer finger, and we learned a long time ago that it’s not polite to point. Additionally, he lost the one on his left hand. I’m pretty sure he’s a right-handed pointer anyway, so if the need arises for him to point something out, he still has his remaining good one.

Having heard his tale of horror, I got to thinking about the body parts that I have lost over the years. Outside of riding a Harley, I don’t do much to endanger “life and limb” as they say. I live a rather cautious life. Still, I walk around sans a few parts myself.

I’m missing a gall bladder, some teeth, a slightly used appendix, and a lot of hair (not to mention a couple of kidney stones—although, I’m not sure those could be counted as body parts). In my case, I’ve been more than happy to part with all those things (aside from the hair). Each one of them was causing me pain.

Some folks like to speculate that all our body parts will be restored in the hereafter. I’d like to think that’s true, but then there’s the example of Jesus. He still had holes in his glorified body (see John 20:24-29). That doesn’t bode well for people looking to regain fingers and such. On the other hand, Saint John tells us that, in the end, the old order of things will pass away and God will make all things new (Revelation 21:1-5). There’s hope for you yet, Mikey!

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]

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