When I was maybe about nine-years-old I was wondering in the woods with a friend, my hands out brushing the tall weeds and branches when a thorn broke off and stuck in my finger. I remember the pulsing throb of pain coming from where that little thorn sat in my skin. In all my nine-year-old medical knowledge (what bits of ER I had watched with my mom when I couldn’t sleep at night) I knew that if you were stabbed or impaled, you shouldn’t just pull it out because you could bleed out and die. I looked at that half an inch thorn in my finger and thought, I could bleed out if I just pull the thing out.
I remembered this today while looking at a rose bush’s thorns. I remember I kept the thorn in my finger and ran from deep in the woods to where my mom was because I was worried what would happen if I took the thorn out, and she’s my mom, so of course she knows everything. My mom pulled the thorn out, I washed my hands, and lived to see many more days.
As I recalled this memory today I thought about how many times in my life I have been scared to pull the “thorn” out for fear of bleeding out. Feared that removing something sharp and painful will have worse repercussions than leaving it in.
But the truth is the longer I leave those “thorns” there, the longer I keep something that not only doesn’t belong, but hurts me. It’s time to put fear of bleeding out aside and be strong enough to recognize that removing brings healing.