While in college at The Ohio State University, I spent a lot of time in the theatre scene shop. As part of the program there, each student has to put in certain about of volunteer time in the department somewhere, and I volunteered there. But once my hours were up, I was employed there. I was the only woman who I knew of that worked there at the time, and one of the very few if not only they hired.
One particular day there was a student doing his volunteer time in the department, and I was put in charge of the crew working in the shop because the Teaching Assistants’ were on the set. This particular student was giving me a hard time about being a woman working in the scene shop. I was growing very annoyed with the situation, and was trying to show off. I was trying to prove that I had every right to be in that shop. My arrogance was showing. I was building a flat for a production, and the flat I was working on required me to nail a joint together at an awkward angle. Common sense and reason would tell someone to get a clamp to hold the wood together. But I was using a big bulky nail gun with 90 lbs of air pressure, and I figured who needs a clamp? I am a woman. I am awesome in this department. So while the chauvinistic student watched I took my hand to hold down the angle. I flexed my girl muscle and got the nail gun in position. I was braced to show him that I was awesome! Thump! Saw dust billowed in the air.
The nail went through the joint and into my left hand with such a force; I was jerked forward over the set piece. The student watched me with wide eyes; he was like a deer now caught in the headlights. He would not move. He starred at me struggling to realize that I was not removing my hand from the set easily. Shock for me was starting to set in.
“Go and get the TA!” I yelled at him, but I had to do it more than once. The kid was not moving.
When the TA finally arrived, I was starting to black out. I have had many injuries in my life, but nailing my hand to that wooden set, was the only time I remember starting to loose consciousness. The TA had to grab hold of my hand with both of his and physically force my hand free from the set piece. At one point we all wondered if I’d have to take the flat with me to the Emergency Room because it took him a lot of effort to get me off of it.
Pride can alter our common sense. I knew that getting a clamp in this situation would have been the smart choice, but I was too busy trying to show off. I was too busy trying to prove to some student that I had girl power. The Bible says a lot about pride. Here are just a few scriptures:
Proverbs 16:18 (The Message) says, “ First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” Proverbs 3:7 (New King James Version) says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.”
Proverbs 29:23 (The Message) says, “Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors.”
No matter the situation, we all have to remember that we are not the ones that are awesome, it’s God inside of us that rocks. Whenever we loose sight of that, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Now I am not saying God made me nail my hand to a flat. It was my own stupidity. But what I am saying is that our flesh is fickle. You may think your on top of the world one moment, and do something stupid the next. We have to remember to stay humble, because “it’s humility that prepares you for honor.” I have learned in life that I cannot go around trying to prove myself to people who do not believe in me. That is God’s battle. I can choose to be prideful about it and explode making a mess (which believe me I have done and it gets ugly) or I can choose to stay humble and allow God to prove Himself through me. It is a choice I have to make. Pride may seem like a good idea for a moment, but eventually it will blow up.
As it turns out the nail that originally was thought to have broken my hand miraculously traveled parallel to my finger bone and no bones were broken in my stupidity. If you look on my left ring finger knuckle there is a scar to remind me of this prideful moment in my life. I look at that mark today as a battle scar of my own mistakes. But it is a good thing that we all do not need to nail our hand to a theatre set to remember to stay humble, and allow God to prove Himself through us.