It happened about seven years ago, and it’s never happened since: I picked up the hedge trimmer.
I had been pestering Ken to trim the bushes before our guests were to arrive the next day, but ‘bushes’ weren’t at the top of his list. So I impatiently said, “Fine, then,” and picked up the electric hedge trimmer myself.
How hard could it be? When our guests walked up to the front door, by golly, I wanted our bushes to be neat and trim. Not bushy, like they were right now.
The trimmer and I would be like a painter with her brush; together, we would transform that overgrown mess into a landscaping piece of art. I waved my giant electronic paintbrush and green scraps began to fly. As neatly sculpted shrubbery emerged, I stepped back (very artist-like) to appreciate my progress.
But as I did so, I almost tripped over the extension cord which had been encircling my feet as I twirled around the bushes. To free myself, I used my free hand to pull a piece of cord from around my leg, but when I tugged it up, the saw sliced right through both the cord and my thick leather glove.
I almost fainted as blood gushed from the glove. I dropped the trimmer, the severed cord, and the bloody glove in a heap and ran for the sink inside. And I never returned to hedge trimming again.
It only took one bloody slice out of my hand for me to suddenly see the value in letting Ken take care of his list in whatever order he deemed appropriate. If guests had to walk past bushy bushes to get to our door, so be it. They would just have to file their complaints with the landscaping department, and I would be happy to direct them his way… with my bandaged hand.
But apparently, nobody worries about bushy bushes as much as I do, because though we’ve had hundreds of guests grace our home over the years, the only one who has ever complained about the bushes is me.
Proverbs 14:1 says,
“The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.”
“Her own hands” is what catches my eyes in this verse, and I think it applies even to bushy bushes. Wisdom says, “Honey, if you have a chance to trim the bushes sometime before the guests arrive, I would be grateful. I love the way you make everything look so neat.” Notice how this builds him up?
But Folly says, “You never finish the things on my list. Fine, then. I’ll just do it myself.” And when she’s done, her hands have done more than just trim the bushes. They have torn down both her husband and her home.
By sneering, “I’ll do it myself!” this woman doesn’t motivate her husband to come take the trimmer out of her hands. She backs him into his corner with the recliner, where he sips a cold drink and watches the game. Which only makes her resent him more.
See what a vicious cycle it is?
The trimming scar on my hand is actually a blessing. It reminds me that when I play the Control Girl
, and grab tasks away from my husband, I have foolish hands–the kind that tear down… and get torn.