A winding, muddy creek and small woods separates our backyard from a lush green meadow. Along the creek lies an old fence- bent barbed wire hiding amongst the leaves, branches, bramble, weeds, thorns, and the like. It’s a mess. We had some Spring-like weather this past weekend, so my wife decided it was time to try and clean up the tangled mess.
We worked together- I pulled back the massive weeds, long branches, and thorny vines, and my wife snipped the annoying vegetation near its base. At one point I grabbed a thick section of the mess, pulled tightly on it so my wife could clip it, and screamed loudly. Through my work gloves a centimeter-long thorn had pierced my index finger. Immediately I threw off the glove and inspected my bloody finger. More painful than the actual size of the cut and the amount of blood, I still cursed the thorn. I then looked at my glove and found the prickly pest embedded in the fabric of my glove- black and pointy, sharp as a tack.
Later that night I thought about the necessity and purpose of those thorns.
If I feel threatened or get “attacked”, I show my “thorns”. I lash out if I get offended. I defend myself if someone thinks I’ve done something wrong. When someone misunderstands me on Facebook, I rush to explain myself and clarify. I have been known to lay on my horn when someone cuts me off on the highway.
I should watch how my thorny responses can painfully prick those around me.