My first son, Scott, was just learning to walk and fell on a cement walkway, splitting the area below his chin so deeply that the floor of his mouth was exposed. We were appalled. Hospitals and doctors were 250 kilometers away over tortuous mountain roads. I had no surgical instruments with me.
A quick catalog of our resources turned up in a less-than-impressive array of one darning needle, coarse thread, one pair of rather blunt scissors and one pair of eyebrow tweezers. Infection in children develops rapidly, and infection in the floor of the mouth can have fatal complications. We also had a little sulfonamide powder. There was no local anesthetic. Rightly or wrongly, I decided to trim and stitch the wound with what we had.
We sterilized “the instuments.” I could not help but look at the affair from Scott's point of view. I did my best to explain, but what can a one-year-old understand? Then he was placed on the dining-room table—and judgment descended on him. Cruel adults seized his limbs and his head so that movement was impossible. Then the father he had trusted became a fearful monster inflicting unbelievable pain on him. How I wished that he could understand that I feared for his life.
Mercifully, he still seemed to trust me when it was over. As for me, I caught a glimpse of judgment from God's angle.