"My finger's stuck in the drain, Mommy," Liley called.
Ah, the first clue our Sunday night wasn't going to go as planned.
We tried helping our 4 year-old pull her finger out, but no luck. Justin had to unscrew the drain from the shower floor.
We kept trying various tricks, including trying to actually cut the drain off her finger. When that didn't work, her brother wrapped a "God will be with you" bracelet around her wrist, I scooped her up with the drain still attached to her hand, and we headed for the ER.
Thankfully, they got us in quickly (Apparently when you have something hanging unnaturally off your body, you get bumped up to "Priority") and multiple doctors worked to get that thing off her finger, which by this time was becoming increasingly swollen and purple.
Finally, finally, they got it off--just in time, they said. We sat there for about a half hour while they iced her hand down and tried to ease the pain with an orange popsicle.
Eventually, Liley's smile began to return (probably about the time the heavy duty dose of Tylenol kicked in). But her finger looked like a miniature version of the Michelin man perched atop her hand! Her poor little finger bears the marks of being somewhere it shouldn't have been.
When we got home late that night, Justin made a comment that really struck me:
"I think I could have gotten her finger out if I had gotten to it before it began to swell."
All day today I've been thinking about "swollen" scenarios--Moments in our lives when we begin to cross a line or go somewhere we're not meant to go. And in those initial moments, it's really not that difficult to get out--as long as we do so quickly.
But when we linger, when we camp out a little too long, it's like a swelling takes place in our hearts. And the more swollen our hearts become in those places, the harder it is to extricate ourselves from them.
I know. Because there have been times when I've gotten myself into circumstances with red flags waving everywhere, and I quickly backed out. But I've also failed to flee at times and found it pretty tough to back out, because a swelling had already taken place in my heart.
Father, I feel You speaking on this one, perhaps not only to me. If we are in situations in which our heart will eventually swell, leaving us just plain STUCK, please give us strength to back out quickly. Give us grace to flee before a wrong place becomes a place we can't get out of. And for those STUCK, strengthen them to turn to You for the help they'll need to get out.