Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Plank

Last summer, my son, Sam didn't listen to my wise advice, and went fishing on our dock barefoot. I was in the kitchen making lunch when I heard howling outside. It was one of those screams that moms know. It's a scream that makes you drop everything, because you just know someone got hurt. I rushed outside to see my daughter, Katya, running toward the house with Sam in her arms.

He was screaming, she was struggling to carry him, and my heart was racing. He was yelling something about his foot and when I looked down, this is what I saw.....

              Scroll past

                        this image

                                if you're squeamish (that should have given you plenty of warning)

The picture was taken at urgent care after three numbing shots and after the other end had been broken off. The urgent care doctor wasn't able to pull it through and the ER doctor was unable to get it out after digging and cutting, so surgery was scheduled. We were given pain meds and sent home to wait for the next day. However, at about five in the morning, the pain meds wore off and my son, curled up, sobbing and moaning in my arms. I cried along with him. My husband and I were distraught and helpless as the wood tried to make its own way out.

He had the surgery later that afternoon and the relief was immediate. The surgeon put the piece of wood in a jar so he could take it for show and tell. Sam was fishing on the dock (with shoes on) the next day.

As I thought about the sheer size of it and the force with which it skewered his foot, I was reminded of what Jesus said about hypocrisy:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You, hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Luke 6:41-42

When you have a plank anywhere, it causes excruciating pain to your entire body. Imagine having a plank in your eye. When a Christian has a plank, the entire body of Christ is also hurt. That plank is obvious to others even if we're blind to it.

Why didn't Jesus talk about having a plank in the toe or in a finger? Think about the size difference between a speck of sawdust and a plank in the eye!

If I spend time removing specks and planks from my own self, the body of Christ will be healthier and more effective.

Heavenly Father, help us identify any planks in our lives. Give us the necessary tools to perform plank removing surgery on ourselves as we trust your Holy Spirit to deal with the sins of others. Amen. 


  1. This post really gave pause for thought today. Thank you for sharing it, Erika!

  2. Wow- now that's a splinter! An encouraging read first thing in the morning. It makes me more confident in performing my own "plankotomy" each day! ;)