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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Stick In Eye

I do not remember when, nor do I know how I came to be there, but I do know why.  The why of it was that I was exploring God's world and I had driven into Nebraska where I was stopped to see a bison ranch.  I paid the nominal entrance fee, then the bison rancher waved my car on down a side road out onto the prairie where I could see a large herd of bison spanning the road.  (These were simpler times, significantly less litigious.)  Just as I drove through the herd, some of those massive, shaggy, dusty, smelly animals decided to cross the road so as to join together.  (I may have already told this story but I have recalled more that I wish to add here.)  Despite the vastness of the prairie the bison crowded and jostled together and against my car; and over the front fender one particularly spry animal was compelled to leap.  I wish I had a photograph but it is still vivid in my mind's eye.


I looped back to the ranch house and parked near a high, large, double-fenced pen, complete with electrical wiring, wherein stood a huge bull bison, what they used to call an American Buffalo before the language minders sternly corrected us on  This mighty bison was standing very close to the electric fence so I wandered over to see why.  The gauge of the fence was large enough that I could have put my hand through to pet him, but... Then I saw the stick in his eye, a green stick which had somehow snapped into his eye and was painfully caught between his upper and lower lid, forcing his eye open.  I believe that he remembered being a baby buffalo and humans helping him out of difficulties, so he had brought his prolonged discomfort of a stick in his eye to the fence in the hopes that some human would take it from his eye.  I was afraid of the electrical fence, I was afraid of crushing my hand if he jumped, I was afraid of being somehow blamed for interfering with someone else's animal, and I left without helping him.  Now half a century later I still have a reoccurring memory of that pitiful bison as it stands helpless in my mind with a painful stick in his eye.


I wonder if, just as I was unable to help this bison, is God somehow unable to help me, unable to remove the sticks from my eyes? What impedes God from helping us?


And I also recall:  "Christians are not to pronounce God's judgment on other sinners while leaving our own lives unexamined or un-judged. We are not qualified to fill God's sinless, righteous shoes. To judge the sin of others while ignoring our own is as absurd as criticizing someone with dust in their eyes, while our own eye is impaled by a stick (Matthew 7:3–4)."


Matthew 7:3-4 King James Version 3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?"


Stick In Eye

by Annmarie Throckmorton, copyright 2024



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