Theology in the Trenches: On the lookout for something

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

Years back I had to buy new hubcaps. Intently, I scrutinized the various styles, makes, and models. There wasn’t a hubcap that drove by that I didn’t notice.

A new computer at another juncture in life was much needed. Thus, computers were on my radar. When choosing new siding for the house, as far as the eye could see, siding took over the landscape. I suppose it must have happened that way when searching for my husband. All I could see were choices until I finally found the right one! Then, I simply stopped looking around. 

Recently, I had surgery. It wasn’t just any surgery. Nope. It was on a location that happened to be right smack dab on the tip of my nose. And now, all I can see are noses and without a doubt, all they can see is mine.

Bandaged in white, it’s an eye sore. As I speak to others, a couple of minutes into the conversation, their hand will go up to the tip of their own nose and ever so subtly swipe it.

It’s sort of like when you stand directly across from someone who has their arms crossed, and soon you find yourself standing there with your arms crossed. Or perhaps someone has their hands on their hips and as you converse, sooner or later, you do as well. It’s non-intentional, but it’s what we do as human beings. We are a peculiar bunch. While so much is done non-intentionally, in truth, so much more can be done intentionally.

“The nose knows” is a funny little saying, but perhaps it’s true. The direction in which it points usually has us on the lookout for something. As I look in the direction the white bandages point, I wonder what my nose beneath them is pointing to.

Perhaps it is pointing me away from self so that I may be more intentionally focused on others. For sure it points towards others who have it worse than I because as of late, all I can see are bigger, deeper, wider, more invasive wounds than the one I am carrying.

Perhaps being a bit wounded is a good thing. Although weary from the pain, I’m now much more aware of my own weakness. The wound helps me to see well beyond it.

I can see beyond to what He endured. I can see beyond to His wounds as pointed out in Isaiah 53:5.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

The focal point doesn’t get much clearer than that. Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)