That's an outlandish title, isn't it? Am I blaming God for breaking my left hand's ring finger? Or even more shocking, am I grateful to have suffered a broken finger? By the time you've finished reading this, you'll understand why I believe both of those things to be true. Let's jump in.
33 years ago I was a newlywed, married to my bride Paula for less than one year. We'd moved across the country from Southern California to Baltimore, MD, where I began as the new campus director for a Christian ministry.
One of the ways I met students on campus was playing basketball at the gym. Honestly (this sounds arrogant), I was pretty good as a b-ball player, having played all the way through high school. So, one day while competing on the court, the basketball "popped" my left ring finger, jamming the middle joint badly. I shook it off and kept playing. No big deal.
However, my finger refused to stop swelling. By the end of the game, my finger resembled a grape popsicle being squeezed by my wedding ring. I went home and showed it to Paula, who said I should have it x-rayed. I declined, thinking I'd merely jammed it for the 100th time playing basketball.
The next day, I noticed it wasn't getting better. Nor the day after that. All it did was get puffier and more purple. Eventually the swelling came down ... but not entirely. As it turns out, the knuckle on my ring finger grew a few sizes that day. The result:
Since that day (less than one year into our marriage), I have never had my wedding ring off of my finger. Never. And ... I love that!
Ok, not being able to remove my ring may make you feel a bit claustrophobic. Take a deep breath ... it's my ring, not yours.
So, why do I love that my ring is permanently on my finger? Because I don't want to ever take it off! That ring means the world to me. It means that I am wed to Paula and Paula to me. We are one. We are united. We are committed to each other to the end. I simply don't think I could survive without her (I hope I never have to experience that). She is God's gift to me. I am officially and utterly dependent upon her.
So, I like to think that God caromed that basketball off my finger, to remind me daily that Paula is His special and lifelong gift to me!
Oh Lord, thank you so much, for breaking my finger so early in our marriage. I am forever grateful!
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22
And now you know the rest of the story!