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.

6 thoughts on “Thorns

  1. We’re human.. reflecting and follow-through are the hardest..

    A lot of the time, we use this as an opportunity to look back and see where it all started and unwind that huge, tangled spaghetti mess to see where it comes from. But I like your decisiveness! So, I wish you all the best, starting on your NOW. 🙂 Your family is very fortunate!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first thought in reading your second paragraph was those are some defective work gloves! But I like how you used the experience as a metaphor. To extend the metaphor, perhaps your gloves are like the tough skin that many of us develop to deal with pain. In this case too easily punctured.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice idea, Geoff. I love it! It’s perfect.
      And truth be told, my wife had one set of work gloves, our daughter had the other set, and I had some heavy duty ski gloves. They were pretty sturdy, and the way I must have grabbed that thorn, I think it would have punctured through the strongest gloves. Who knows! 🙂


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