The Angel and the Pocketknife
“Who does this?” I often ask myself after doing whatever “this” is for the day. Yesterday, I asked again.
Rummaging through my purse while driving, I felt an intense pain. I yanked my hand away and watched as the blood poured from my fingertip. I pulled to the closest U-turn lane and grabbed some tissues to stanch the bleeding. That didn’t help, so I pulled off the road and parked. Twenty-minutes later, blood-drenched tissues filling my lap, both hands (and a shirt I had on the car seat next to me) bloody, it finally stopped.
I was on my way to a party I didn’t want to miss, so going home, even though it was five minutes away was not an option. When the blood waters receded, I took a careful peek into my purse. The culprit? An open pocketknife.
The pocketknife is not spring loaded; it’s not a switchblade. Opening this knife must be done on purpose. I’m a space shot, but I would never put an open knife in my purse. I closed said knife and tucked it in a pocket of my purse. I decided to drive to a convenience store and get some bandages. Before I put the car in gear, I wished for the first time, that I had an automatic. I was certain shifting would get the blood flowing again.
I ducked into the restroom, washed the blood off my hands, and bought some bandages. Back in the car, the bleeding started again. World’s Crappiest Bandages (WCB) was not the label on the box, but it could have been. Determined to get to the party, I wrapped my finger with napkins, secured them with WCBs, and arrived at the party quite late. The host had real bandages, which I gratefully accepted and used.
I could say, “The moral of the story is no more rummaging in your purse, Chris. You never know when you’ll slice yourself with a knife.” That’s when the “Who does this?” question comes to mind. I checked that knife later. It isn’t easy to open. I don’t know how it opened—and I’m looking for some cosmic reason as to why I had to delay getting on I-95 and driving 75 miles south. I was only a half-mile away when I cut myself. The total time waiting for the blood to stop, convenience store trip, washing, wrapping, and bandaging was at least 30 minutes.
By writing through this experience, I can answer the question.
Five minutes before I left the house, I received some life-changing news. Not in a good way . . . so far. My income took a big hit and I was frantic with worry. But I was determined to go to the party. Nothing was going to stop me. Even in my frantic state, I was going to get on the deadliest highway in America—I-95 in Florida—and drive.
If an Angel Opens a Knife,
What Else Is Possible?
Nothing was going to stop me—except a stab wound to the fingertip. I stopped. For at least 30 minutes I stopped. It’s another puzzle as to why a fingertip wound would bleed so profusely—even after pressure, elevation, the usual. Because gear-shifting was out of the question, I wasn’t going anywhere. America’s deadliest highway would have to wait.
Blood is a great distraction. It pulls you away from everything else that’s going on. Focus is shifted to one thing: making it stop. The bleeding stopped. My frantic mental what-ifs also stopped.
When I finally got on the highway, I drove slowly—and I admit I made a phone call that calmed me. Maybe the angel who opened that knife guided me while I drove because I’m safe at home and starting a new day.
And maybe, just maybe, I can find a way to trust that it will all be okay. If an angel opens a knife in my purse, then pretty much anything is possible.