The Smashed Finger

Brother noticed Mom’s carport was in need of repair and took the job upon himself.

Though he was quite capable of managing it alone, I slipped in to “help.”

  • hold wood while he sawed
  • look for a crowbar and nails
  • hold up one end of lumber while he nailed his end
  • support the ladder when it was off balance
  • hold up one end of the gutter while he attached it
  • refill his water jug
  • fix lunch
  • fill Ziploc bag with ice
  • provide bandage and Neosporine
  • stand silent vigil as his finger dripped blood onto the driveway

I wondered how Brother and I would work together after over 30 years of separation.  After marriage, Hubby’s work took me 400 miles South.

Over the years, especially the past year, we both changed – mellowed.

I found that we worked well together – childhood competitiveness had given way to companionship.  He led. I followed. My position was that of support.  Our goal was the same – repair the carport.

It was a delight to work with him, to watch him, to see Dad in him.  It was a joy to learn of him and come to know who he is now and appreciate him for who he is, not who he was.

I marveled at his abilities and thanked God for giving me such a smart and able brother.

And, then he smacked his finger with the hammer.

And, it bled.

And, bled.

And, bled.

My heart broke and I fought tears as my brother silently endured the agony.

The hammer had not simply banged his finger, it had broken it open…smashed it.

His ashen face revealed his pain.

If I could have taken it from him, I would have.  All I could do was run for a bag of ice and a paper towel to catch the blood.

I stood near him and watched.  I ached for my brother.  My eyes fill with tears now as I remember.  I was helpless to relieve his pain.  All I could do was stand by and silently offer support by my presence.

My brother was hurt and I hurt for hm.

My heart opened to him as we worked and I felt his pain. It was surprising and overwhelming.

When was the last time you hurt for a brother? When was the last time your heart was broken because your brother, sister, parent, friend, coworker, acquaintance was hurting?

Is your heart open to the pain of others?  Or, have you closed yourself off, put distance between you and others so you don’t feel, aren’t aware, don’t have to deal with the hurts of others?

Oh, it’s easier NOT to feel another’s pain. But, sharing the hurt of another deepens our love and softens the heart – something we all need.

Brother and his healing smashed finger returns today to finish the carport repairs. My plan is to be right there beside him with open hands and open heart – supporting, helping, and praying for him.

What about you? Who will you open your heart to today?

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