A crack runs down my thumb, from the corner closest to my nail almost to the center of my thumb's fingerprint. A side-effect of dry heat during the winter and refusing to wear rubber gloves when I wash dishes once or twice a day.
It really stings. A few nights ago, I was out with my family running errands and I stuck the corner of my thumb in my mouth for a little relief. It helped some, though healing takes time, I suppose. (My husband told me to stop sucking my thumb - it looks funny when a 30-something-year-old tries it.)
Later, when I was talking to Jesus (not even about my thumb - it was something completely different), in my mind's eye, I saw this picture of a desert, dry and cracked, wilting from lack of moisture. The hot sun blazed in the sky, the heat waves quavered in the air, warping my vision. It was barren. Dry. Dusty. Dead. The only thing I could think of was how badly this place needed water. Life-giving water.
And then a shadow crossed the ground. I looked up and a heavy black cloud covered the sun. First one drop, then ten, then a hundred, then a deluge, covered the ground, running through the cracks, filling the fissures and the dry steam bed, soaking the earth.
At first, I was startled because the ground didn't immediately return to normal. The cracks remained. Water coursed through them, but the dryness was so complete that the ground couldn't receive it right away. It was later, much later, after the rain stopped, and the muddy water had run its course, and the ground had soaked in the rain through its rough dry shell, that the cracks disappeared.
Naturally, I wanted to know why Jesus had shown this picture to me (assuming, of course, that it wasn't just a tangent my mind had taken. Even if that had been the case, I think Jesus could still teach a good lesson from it. Wasn't he called Teacher in his human years on this earth?).
I saw myself as the hard ground. Cracked, with dry edges all around. Once, I had been fertile soil, but I was tired. So tired. And discouraged, worn down, beaten by the hot winds that inevitably blew my way. When was the last time I had sat in God's presence, soaking in His "living water?" I had given, but I had forgotten to refresh my spirit with God's refreshing rain.
As I spent that time with Jesus, I felt His hand on me. The moisture wet the cracks, though it took a little to begin to absorb and heal. Days of returning to the water. Drinking deeply to soak the ground.
I still hate that crack on my thumb. It's incredibly annoying. It takes an awful lot of treatments with water, lotion and Vaseline to notice any difference in the healing process. But I'm glad it helped to call my attention to the healing that really needed to happen in my life. So... thanks God. You crack me up. :)