Occupational Hazard

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By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Repetitive action at keyboards has cost me a couple of wrist surgeries. Occupational hazard, some would say.

Worth it, I would say.

The piano came alive to me in kindergarten, a typewriter in high school. Dancing my fingers over a keyboard in emotive expression just made sense, whether I played music or words. I’ve continued in both activities for a lifetime and will soon return to a surgical professional for “maintenance.”

Fifteen years ago, my first carpal tunnel surgery left an inch-long scar on the heel of my right hand. In public, I held the tender area flat against my body, offering instead my left hand in greeting.

As the wound healed, I cautiously ventured back to my everyday life of writing, teaching, computing, and playing the piano. But I tended to hide the ugly, pink scar that cut across from wrist to palm. Exposing it made me feel vulnerable to pain or injury, even rejection from others.

On Sundays I was self-conscious about raising my hand during worship – a common practice for many who attended my church. What if someone turned and looked at that imperfect hand? How could I lift it up to a perfect God? I was embarrassed.

And then one Sunday morning, the worship music touched my heart so deeply, that I had to raise my hand. I felt bare, exposed, as if I were lifting my whole imperfect, scarred life to God. Would He accept me?

In that moment I sensed Him reaching out through the hands of Jesus – as if He were revealing His own wounds, opening His arms to me, unhesitatingly, unembarrassed. No, I was not the only one with scars in her hands. Nor was I the only one with scars on her soul. Isn’t that all we really have to offer God anyway – our torn, ruined lives?

The Apostle Paul said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17). I always wondered what he meant by that. Was he referring to the physical beatings he suffered for the sake of his faith, or was he speaking metaphorically about spiritual scars? Either way, my minor surgery was not to be compared with Christ’s torturous suffering, yet I couldn’t help but think of His scars when I looked at my own. His wounds had not been stitched neatly closed like mine. They gaped, no doubt, from the weight of His body hanging on the cross and the weight of my sins on His heart.

After the Resurrection, Jesus offered His scar-torn hands to a doubting man named Thomas and told him to put his finger in the holes and see that they were real. Could I say that to someone, perhaps not in a physical sense, but emotionally?

Am I willing to share my hidden wounds and shame with others so they too can believe and find healing?


Occupational hazard, some would say. Click To Tweet



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Snow Angel – available in audio, e-book, and print collection of A High-Country Christmas.

As delayed as a child’s anticipated Christmas, her hands began to tremble and she swaddled them in her shawl, annoyed at her lack of self-control. For twenty years she’d lived and managed. For the last five, she’d helped her brother Tay, relinquishing dreams of her own home, a loving husband, children.

The older she grew, the more clearly she saw the way men averted their gazes. Polite, but uninterested. Who wanted a maimed wife? One who didn’t even have the finger on which to place a wedding band? ~ Snow Angel


Inspirational Western Romance – where the hero is heroic.

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(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

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4 thoughts on “Occupational Hazard

  1. Phylis Moore

    Well said Davalynn…thanks.
    my love at Christmastime,
    Phylis 😀

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Phylis. Blessings to you.

  2. Karen Gee

    That was an awesome message. We have to realize that none of us are perfect. But the Lord understands as he endured it all. That’s all that really matters.
    We are made perfect in God’s sight through our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior!
    Merry Christmas to you!!

    1. davalynn

      Amen, Karen. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.


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