Apparently, I touch my forehead often. I never realized exactly how often until I acquired an interesting sort of wound there.
It all started on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when I went to church to pick up the girls from Vacation Bible School play practice.
As I arrived, I saw workers scrambling about to decorate the halls, classrooms and sanctuary in preparation for the upcoming week. I have been specially crafted by my maker, that whenever I see people in need, I feel compelled to offer my assistance. This might be a Southern thing. It could also be a Good Daughter thing. Either way, it is mostly a generous thing that usually takes me back to an emotional age of, oh I don’t know, seven or maybe twelve when I had my first glimmer of future uncoordinated-ness.
“Anything I can do to help?” The words were out of my mouth before I flipped on my Wisdom switch. (Wisdom: the ability to use knowledge acquired from experience. Remember this definition.)
Tony handed me some scenery. It was large. VBS had a western theme: saddles, inflatable horses, rustic implements reminiscent of the Old West. You get the picture. Now, add the cumbersome props to my uncoordinated-ness and you get an even better picture.
And Tony is this guy who presses on until the job is finished. I know this from experience. He has gone on many mission trips to disaster relief areas. He can do math in his head. Math always trumps language arts skills, so I followed his lead. For what seemed like hours.
Finally, we got to the part where we had to assemble a large and awkward screen for the projector system he rigged up. This involved bulky items, strength, two-by-fours, and adjustable C-clamps. None of these items I have in large supply around me for reasons that will soon become apparent.
“Now, get that clamp, push the little silver lever and put it right there,” he said. His voice implied he had more confidence in me than he should have. “Good. Good. Now, the other one goes higher.”
I grabbed the clamp, hyped on the praise for using my fine and gross motor skills in the right way. I placed my right foot squarely on the seat of a chair and heaved my body upward. Wisdom awoke at that precise moment, stretched and rubbed her eyes. Even she was amazed. She turned and woke up her twin, Humility. It didn’t take me long to realize my mistake.
I dropped the clamp and stepped back onto the floor, both feet planted on the ground, both arms outstretched. And, since I was in church, I could only think curse words. Being wounded in the name of Christ is not all that holy, not with the plethora of words that ran through my mind.
“Tony, I think I just hurt myself.”
He looked directly at my forehead.
“I think you did, too,” he said.
“Is it bleeding?” Dear God, please don’t let it be bleeding!
“Not yet,” he said. For some reason, he kept looking at my forehead.
I’m used to that, though. See, I have a personal barometer, located in the exact spot where he stared. Whenever I am excited, nervous, angry, calm, really – when I show emotion, or the lack thereof, I have this vein that pops out on my forehead. I am an intensely visceral person, so it emerges often. It runs at a slight angle upward, all the way from the middle of my brows to my hair line. Julia Roberts has one, too. On her, it is sexy. On me, not so much.
I laughed, then, thinking perhaps things weren’t so bad, but apparently that caused the vein to swell with blood.
“Um,” Tony said. “I think you’d better go look in a mirror.”
In the process of heaving myself upward, I had skewered my forehead with the long metal bar that came out of the end of the clamp. The metal bar had scraped and sliced the skin, but the pressure of the bar against the skin when I heaved myself upward was such that the friction had sealed the slice. The laughing caused the vein to swell, popping the slice open.
Wisdom laughed at me from a distance. Humility just sighed. Nasty little buggers!
It took six days for the swelling to go down, and then it started to heal. It did leave a scar that nicely bisects the vein, thereby taking the attention away from my vascular deformities.
Now, I have one more reason to touch my forehead.
And I am thinking that I should keep the Wisdom switch set to On At All Times…