I understand doubting Thomas’ climatic confession a little better this morning, because today I have a new scar. In chapter 20 of John’s gospel one of the disciples, Thomas, rebuffs the other followers of Jesus who are claiming that their master has resurrected form the dead saying, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand in this side, I will never believe.” Thomas wanted to see and touch some scars. So do I; and I can – I have my own scars to feel.
My latest scar was birthed Sunday evening, the 18th of November as my father and I were field dressing the whitetail buck I had just taken a few minutes earlier. (If you have moral objections to sport hunting, I appreciate your convictions, though I don’t share all of them. But please read on as this post is not about killing deer; hunting is only the context. Also the deer in this scenario actually has a little post-mortem revenge upon me, so keep reading if you loathe hunters.)
I was moving through the usual field-dressing motions when the knife cut through the animal’s hide much more swiftly than expected and I, moving the blade across and in front of my body with my right hand, plunged the three-inch pocketknife into my left forearm. (If you are wondering how I’m typing this post, please understand that I am just really, really tough and also probably the most dedicated of GCO contributors. There should be an award. Also, there was no major damage done.)
Sparing most of the gruesome details, I began to bleed profusely a dark red blood and related to my dad in colorful eloquence appropriate to the scenario that I needed to go immediately to the emergency room. Then I unlatched my camouflage overalls, tore off my camouflage t-shirt to tie a tournakit around my wounded arm, and jumped with my hunter orange-clad father into our flatbed farm truck with the dual hay bale spikes on the back and 30-06 Remington rifle sitting next to me in the cab, leaving the half-harvested eight-point behind in the knee-high wheat grass with the dust-heavy sunset falling upon us all.