By Xueting, China
“Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
Whenever I hear someone had his finger amputated because of an accident, I can’t help but touch mine that were seriously injured and quietly reflect on the Lord Jesus’ love. But for His love, I would also have become a disabled person.
At that time, I was working away from home and always occupied myself in my job. When I had some time, I would go out with my colleagues—I seldom attended gatherings and read the Bible, so I had limited knowledge of the Lord. However, a supervening matter enabled me to see the Lord’s love: Although I distanced myself from the Lord, He didn’t abandon me, and when danger and misfortune befell me, He still bestowed His mercy upon me.
I worked in a factory, and my job was to bend steel pipes with an automated tube bending machine which was produced in the l960s and l970s. The machine would bend steel pipes of 20 cm long and 3.5 cm wide into a right angle. Because the pipes were oily, I had to wear gloves and put my left index finger and middle finger into the pipe to help stabilize it in the mold. Then I would step on the foot switch to start the machine. The machine would take about five minutes to bend a steel pipe.
On the day of the accident, I was chatting with my supervisor while working. When he left, my heart was still on our conversation and so I wasn’t very focused on my work. Before getting my fingers out from the steel pipe, I accidentally stepped on the switch. I wondered what was with the creaking sounds, and then I looked down, only to find that the machine had started working and that the pipe had already been bent to 135 degrees, but my fingers were still inside the pipe, and I realized they were going to be squashed along with the pipe. This freaked me out and I hurriedly tried to get my fingers out, but no matter how hard I tried, it was to no avail. I felt so anxious that I broke out in a sweat and my heart was tied in knots. At that moment, my mind went blank, and I didn’t know what to do; I began to lose sensation in my left hand. Helplessly, I could only stand waiting until the machine finished the procedure before getting my fingers out.
When I withdrew my fingers from the machine, my left index finger had been squashed flat together with the glove. This miserable situation made my heart tremble, and I thought, “That’s it, it’s over. I’m going to lose this finger.” Out of survival instinct, I lifted my hand and walked toward the guard room. Seeing my finger squashed like that, my colleague turned white with fear, and said in a panic, “Quickly, take off your glove. If it’s stuck to your finger, this will become more troublesome.” Then she carefully took off my glove, and I saw that my index finger had become flat with its bones and muscles exposed, and that my middle finger had been broken and it kept bleeding. My hand was numb and so I felt no pain. At that time, my heart leapt into my throat and I thought, “My goodness! My fingers are badly hurt, can they still be saved? If not, won’t I become disabled?” In a moment of desperation, I called urgently on the Lord and I dared not depart from Him even for a second. Seeing my injuries, workers and supervisors in the factory also became panicked; some quickly called the boss, and others hurried to find a car. Then, someone said, “The boss has driven his car out and can’t return now. The other vehicles of the factory can’t come back, either. What should we do?” Seeing what was happening, the doorman gripped my wrist and started to walk out of the factory, he then asked the supervisors and my fellow villager to go along with us to hail a passing car. We successfully hailed a car and I was rushed to the hospital.
After an X-ray, the doctor told me to go to the operating room. When he was looking at the X-ray, I was really afraid of my fingers being amputated, and did not want to end up being disabled without earning much money, so I implored him to save my fingers as much as possible. The doctor said to me, “That depends. We won’t amputate your fingers if possible. But according to the X-ray, even if your fingers can be saved by an operation, your index finger will become curved, like a hook. So, you still need another operation for it to fully recover. Only then can you stretch your finger.” After hearing that my fingers could be saved, my anxious heart gradually calmed down.
Soon after, the attending doctor started the operation on me, and in suturing, I began to feel the dreadful pain in my left hand despite the anesthesia. In particular, because my middle finger was broken right at the root of the finger-nail, every stitch caused a very sharp pain that my face broke out in a cold sweat. I was afraid that if I yelled in pain, that would disturb the operation, so I could only constantly cry in a low voice, “Lord, Lord….” Miraculously, when I called on the Lord, the pain began to subside. On the way home after the operation, my fellow villager said to me, “The doctor asked me whether you were a believer in the Lord. He said in so many of these operations, other patients were all crying and screaming while you kept lying quietly, and even when you couldn’t bear the pain, you just trembled without yelling. He heard that you called out to the Lord, and he said that it’s good to believe in the Lord.” Hearing that, I silently thanked the Lord in my heart. Indeed, it was the strength given to me by the Lord that allowed me to get through the operation.
After the operation, my palm became swollen, doubling in size, and I needed to go to the hospital to receive IV drips every day. Seven days later, I was accompanied by my husband to the hospital to have my stitches out. When the doctor removed them, my middle finger had recovered well, but the color of my index finger was a bit off and some black fluid was oozing from it. After a careful examination, the doctor applied some medication to my finger and bandaged it. Then, I went to receive IV drips without thinking further and paying attention to listening to what the doctor said to my husband.
When we returned home, my husband made food and then went out, and he didn’t come back after a long time. I then asked my fellow villager (a sister in the Lord) to call him back. After getting back, she said to me heavily, “To be honest, your husband doesn’t want to come back, he feels uncomfortable because he doesn’t know how to tell you the condition of your finger. He said that your index finger has been infected and has to be amputated. Otherwise, the infection will spread to the other parts of your hand and even to your arm, and any infected parts will have to be removed. The doctor asked you to have the amputation operation tomorrow morning.” Hearing this, my heart felt like it had fallen into a pit of ice, and had trembled constantly. I thought to myself, “If my finger is cut off, how will I work in the future?” Thinking this, I couldn’t help crying and felt incredibly fearful. At that moment, my fellow villager comforted me by saying, “Don’t be afraid. Since we believe in the Lord, He is our rock. As long as we rely on Him and tell Him of our pain, He will show us mercy and shoulder the suffering for us….” Hearing her words of comfort, I gradually calmed down and stopped crying. Afterward, she brought my husband back. After the meal, my fellow villager and I kneeled down and prayed, asking the Lord to protect me and heal my wound. After prayer, she read some Bible verses to me. Subsequently, I prayed alone to confess to the Lord, “Lord, I only cared about my work and money instead of attending meetings and reading the Bible, so I became distant from You….” After praying, my heart was much calmer.
The following day, my husband, my fellow villager and I went to the hospital. When the doctor unwrapped the gauze on my index finger to examine it, he suddenly opened his eyes wide and exclaimed in surprise, “It’s really a miracle! I never thought that so great changes would happen overnight. See, her finger has returned to its original color, which shows that the blood vessels in her finger have become unblocked. So, there’s no need for an amputation.” Hearing this, my husband and my fellow villager were both surprised and happy. And I felt an indescribable excitement and couldn’t help sighing, “How great the Lord’s power is! Yesterday, the doctor said an amputation was a must. I never thought that through praying and relying on the Lord, so great changes would happen overnight. This is really the Lord’s wondrous deed! It is the Lord who has saved my finger.” I truly experienced what is said in the Bible, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). “Be not a terror to me: You are my hope in the day of evil” (Jeremiah 17:17).
From then on, I began actively attending gatherings and ordinarily, I often prayed and read the Bible at home. Every day I would consciously try stretching my index finger. After a period of time, it could be stretched a little, which gave me some delight. So, I continued to practice like that every day. Several months later, I could actually stretch the finger and thus didn’t need another operation. After a year’s rest, my two fingers recovered completely, and I could work again, as if they had never been seriously injured.
Recalling all of the ins and outs of this matter, I truly came to appreciate the Lord Jesus’ mercy and love for me. He didn’t abandon me or stop paying attention to me because I frequently distanced myself from Him; instead, He was always by my side. When I met with the misfortune, He meticulously arranged people and things to help me, and showed me His great power. This allowed me to truly experience that the Lord was ever our help in need and our rock, and that He possessed indescribably wonderful power. Just as the Bible says, “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick” (Ezekiel 34:16). I then made a resolution: No matter what difficulties occur to me in the future, I will never depart from the Lord who loves me.
Hallelujah! All the glory be to the Lord!