Monday, September 16, 2013

I Nailed My Hand To A Theatre Set


In all my years of writing the blogs I do not remember if I’ve shared this story before or not, but as I was seeking God about what to write on today I kept thinking about this one. 

When I was in college at The Ohio State University, I spent a lot of time in the Scenic Studio.  I was one of the few women I believe they actually ever hired up to that point.  It was probably because few girls wanted to work there, but I enjoyed it.  I got to help build the sets for the theatre shows and work with power tools so it was a win win for me.  It was my senior year and this freshman boy showed up to assist in the studio who obviously thought what I was doing was no place for a woman.  He’d pretty much said that to me.  The guy irritated me.  I shouldn’t have let it get to my head, but it did.  I wanted to prove to him that I could read a blueprint and wield an air powered nail gun with the rest of them.  I had used one countless times.

That day I went to work building the small corner of the back of a stage.  Retrospectively I could list off the things I could have done better here.  I should have gotten vice grips to hold the two pieces of wood together.  I should have realized that perhaps the nail gun was a tad too heavy and tried to use my brain more than my brawn.  But that little freshman watched intently what I was doing and somehow in that moment I was fighting for girls everywhere.  I grit my teeth, put my hand on the other side of the wood, and angled the nail gun.  Unfortunately in pulling the trigger I moved my angle on the gun.  Unfortunately as the nail pierced the wood at 90 lbs. of pressure my hand just happened to be in its path.  Unfortunately, I had a Jesus like moment in my stupidity and nailed my left hand to the platform.  We’re supposed to be like Jesus but I assure you that is NOT what God means.  Also unfortunately the freshman was watching me as I did it.  His eyes got real wide, as he stood there staring. 

“Go get the TA!”  I yelled at him.  I was the one that was supposed to be in charge in the shop at the moment, and the closest TA was out on the stage getting the flats together.  Unfortunately I didn’t drive a nail home for girls in construction everywhere that day.  I made a fool out of myself as the TA ran to me to physically put all of his might in to pull my hand off the nail.  He was right; I couldn’t go to the emergency room attached to a wooden set.  I’ve been a kid that’s had a lot of accidents, but never before have I almost blacked out until or since this day.

Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)18 Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.

            We’ve all had our moments when we didn’t make the best of choices.  In this case I was trying to be all super woman and prove a point, and sadly I didn’t do much for the cause of women that day.  My pride in trying to prove a point made me make a bad decision that could have cost me a finger.  Miraculously the two inches of nail that went into my hand, followed my left ring finger parallel so that it never touched the bone.  I still have a scar.  It was one of those one in a million shots, and my sweet Jewish hand doctor always declared me a walking miracle.  (It was the same surgeon who operated on my right wrist several years prior to this but that’s another story)

            In the moments in our life where we recognize perhaps we’re being a tad bit prideful, may my story remind you to humble yourself and slow down.  As much as I know I can wield power tools, the next time I used a vice grip.  As much as I felt I needed to prove a point to him, my own pride blinded me for a moment.  I never saw that kid again. 

God will give us grace for our moments, but learn to recognize the moment.  Humble yourself.  It saves you from a lot of embarrassment.

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

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