Monday, October 19, 2015

Growing a Thick Skin ...

When I was a little girl, I was somewhat fascinated by a bump my mother had on the side of her middle finger. She explained to me that it was a callus that formed from holding a pen and writing letters. For some reason, I thought that was the coolest thing, and I wanted one too. As I got older, I was excited to see that I was developing one. It was like a badge of honor, the mark of one who writes.

Then I started typing more than writing, and eventually, I was using a computer for 99% of all my writing-related tasks. Pens were more for taking notes and writing to-do lists, and my callus began to shrink. Now, it's barely noticable at all.

We develop calluses to protect us from friction. The pen presses against the finger, and the skin of the finger hardens to create a protection. Sometimes we do the same thing emotionally - put up a wall to protect us from the harshness of the world. This can be a good thing, or it can be negative.

Think about the word "callous." It's related to "callus," but it's not a noun. It describes a state of being - "She was callous about her treatment of the sick dog." It means that someone has walled themselves off so much that they don't feel proper emotions. This can lead to damaged relationships and the inability to hear the Spirit when it speaks.

When I look down at this bump on my finger that has all but disappeared now, I remember this analogy. I want to be strong enough to withstand negative things that come my way, but I never want to wall myself off so much that I can't feel those subtle things like happiness and inspiration.

Just a thought for the day.

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