Juggling Fire

Some Things Should Not Be Erased

Today I did something I have not done in a long time. I wrote with a pencil.

I wrote so much that the callus I developed in second grade began to ache. I guess it’s grown soft.

I remember well the pain of developing that callus. When we first started learning penmanship, our teacher handed us each a new blue, mechanical pencil. She said we would be writing all day everyday with our new pencils.

Our pencils were fat and heavy and the ends were rigid. After a few days, the ridges made the inside of my middle finger raw. It bled even. I had to wear a Band-Aid for a few days until it healed.

After a few weeks, however, I was able to use the pencil without shedding tears. I developed the callus that has remained on my finger my entire life.

It served me well during my days as a reporter. I could cover a six-hour city commission meeting (and those do exist) with nary a discomfort or hand cramp. I was in shape. I was conditioned.

I guess my callused finger is much like life, huh? That’ll preach! I like to say.

We condition ourselves to be tough, to run the race. Sometimes, we do it to build stamina. Other times we do it to avoid further wounding.

But God is good because he allows the softening. Sometimes he gives us gentle reminders, in loving ways, of burdensome days gone by just so he can remind us of how he has carried us through.

I used to think my callus was ugly. Now, I think it is a part of me. I would not be who I am today without it.


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