2 November 2009
this is thumb blog
The other day I sliced my thumb on a tin can. It wasn’t super deep but it was at the sort of angle that makes for a flap of skin and lots of blood. I’m sorry, are you reading this over your lunch break? My bad. Anyhoo, I patched it up and continued on my merry way. Yesterday I was getting ready for a church gig and pulled out my mandolin. I held the pick between my thumb and index. I strummed down. I strummed up. I caught that flap of skin on the high E strings. AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!
I sopped up the blood and put a Sponge Bob band aid on it. After a cup of coffee I tried playing the mandolin again and realized that Sponge Bob was not going to have the staying power I needed to get the job done. So I took a tip from Ani and busted out the electrical tape. Now my thumb looked like this:
It worked. I had a little trouble holding the pick at times and my thumb pick for banjo was a little tight, but it stayed on and I was able to play at Easter Lutheran with Jonathan Rundman and Joel Setterholm and all was well.
That’s the story, here’s the insight. I was at my church beforehand and one of the kids looked at my thumb and said, €œWhy are you wearing a Sponge Bob band aid?€ The question wasn’t about my injury, it was about my choice in character endorsed band aids. A lesser mannered child may have phrased it, €œDude, you’re too old to wear a band aid with a cartoon character on it. Gimme a break.€ The answer being, it’s the only band aid I could find. But that’s not the point. Look at that picture. The only part of S. Bob showing are his whacked out eyes. Almost the whole band aid is covered with electrical tape. Yet she knows Sponge Bob and that is what she sees. Had her dad, a handyman, seen my thumb he would’ve been much more apt to comment on the use of electrical tape and probably offered a few other adhesive selections that would work equally well. We see what we know.
There’s the insight, how about some implication/application? It’s why everyone needs a voice. Because so much of my life and work is in church and para church settings I automatically go to this context. If you look around your church and see that everyone looks like you, has the same political bumper stickers on their cars, graduated from high school the same year, shares the same mother tongue… you get the idea. If this is your congregation than I guarantee that you are not hearing the gospel in it’s entirety. If we want to begin to see the whole picture of God’s love than we need everyone’s insight. Because when you’re six you see Sponge Bob and when you’re forty you see electrical tape. And when you’re my thumb you need them both.
I think the metaphor went too far when my thumb became the church. Although my thumb is kind of messed up…