John Boston | Who, the Holy Heck, Fixed My Index Finger?

John Boston

Via a finger, I have a question. Is it more important that I have confidence in God? Or, is it more important that God has confidence — a demonstrable confidence — in me? Case in point. 

My injury. 

Last week, I cut my left index finger. No need to send flowers or donations to the local Brains For Democrats Foundation. It might have been a paper cut. A day later, I was inspecting the damage. The darndest thing? It was healing up nicely. How? Without so much as a Johnny Boston May I — Something had gone to work.  

Index finger cell-phoned brain. Said, “Ouch.” 

Feverishly scribbling notes, Brain said, “Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Gotcha. Right on it!” 

Didn’t need a Band-Aid. After a night’s sleep, somehow, the complicated process of stitching together the small barranca in the digit that I use daily to point out the shortcomings of other people was healing nicely. No staples. No Gorilla Glue. No bailing wire or duct tape. Heavens. I didn’t even need to say a prayer. Some little iddy-biddy, work-after-midnight unseen road crew in cute little orange vests had been working quietly to heal this insignificant cut. 

A question arises. 

Did the little Caltrans staff that fixed my finger have little thermoses? Hard hats? Where do they go after shift? Is there some infinitesimally small beer bar lurking within The Body Boston that serves White Cell Workers cold beer and hot nachos, and offers free dart games? 

Here’s a bigger question. Brain assures finger a fix-it team is not only on the way, it’s already there, working. Who, with a capitol “W,” told The Brain? 

Somehow, through no fault of my own, I manage to stumble through a day. I’d have little time to attempt satire if I had to greet the morning beginning with consciously ordering the swinging of legs off bed. Or, in my case, “Fall out of office chair fully clothed, onto floor, startled, then, get up, swing blindly at what Freudian force I was battling in my REM sleep, then remark, ‘Oh no. Morning. Not you again …’” 

I know I dream. Can I point to one? Weigh a thought? Buy it an Orange Julius? Every nanosecond, Something is working on my behalf. Something inside, much greater than the sum of all parts. Is it calculable how many signals the nervous system sends, how many muscles must not just obey, but coordinate to take just one, simple step? While all this wonderfulness is ongoing, there’s my mind. Whispering, conspiring, sabotaging, literally putting sugar in the gas tank. 

The mind, or some shadow government form of itself, seems to be passionately dedicated to me becoming anything but myself. Worse, a darker version of myself. It cheers me on to lie, cheat, steal, laugh toothily, plot, blame, oppress, overeat, oversleep, covet, be unkind. A nameless dear chum years ago tiredly shared, “If the mind didn’t need our body to cart us around, it’d kill us.” 

What a place for the devil to hide, right under our sweat-lined rodeo baseball caps. Where do all suicides start? You know it’s true. Under the hat. 

Not counting Two Chicago Hot Dogs For-The-Price-Of-One Mondays at Wienerschnitzel, how DO we survive? 

Here’s a question. What would happen if that same, Grand, Kindly Force that fixed my pointing finger could send a similar message to my psyche, especially when I’m in the midst of my daily transgressions? Instead of sending a team of fibroblasts, neutrophils, macrophages and platelets, like a garage door, the top of my head would open. A Monty Python angelic hand would rub a cream pie in my face, then present a printed memo of what, exactly I did wrong and how to knock it off before the next time. 

Sometimes I think It does. I’ve heard that Still Small Voice, the one that lovingly encourages, “You’re better than that …” 

How do I not make mistakes? Especially the ones so beneath me, the ones that later make me wince, that leave the unliftable weight of an immense sadness. If we could fix a sin as easily as a paper cut, what would be the point of a life meant to explore, to live and live grandly? We’d never enjoy that joyous experience, that freeing, “Ah-Hah!!” moment of realization when, afterward, you can acknowledge with a smile, “I’ve been such an idiot …” 

I flub. You flub. He, she, it flubs. Flub, forgive yourself. It’s that easy. 

Done right, Divine Idiocy can be a peaceful place to be. After all. The origin of the word, “sin,” has nothing to do with burning in hell, damnation, shame, guilt or skipping a cycling class. It’s an Arabic archer’s term. Simply, it means, “to miss the mark.” That’s all. 

Healing takes its own particular time. A paper cut, as if by magic, heals. All by itself. But a paper mind cut? For that, we have to get off our own, lazy buttkowskis to begin the fix-it process. For bigger wounds? Like, why do church roofs collapse on those at prayer? Why does a fatal disease visit Wonderful Her and not Lousy Him? If God’s so loving, why doesn’t He protect the innocent from sharks, drunk drivers or pop-up ads? 

What if Life went on forever? It’s not an original thought. A paper cut, an unkind word from 5,000 years ago, they wouldn’t weigh much on us today. Yet, do our own, larger crimes, committed from a long-ago reality, have to be finally paid in a universe constantly balancing itself out? Is karma real? 

Can I make tea, sit with God and Brain to ask, can sins can be forgiven? Lack be filled? Health restored, hearts softened? Can something so capricious as karma can be dissolved? 

Perhaps while we’re all chatting, may I sincerely inquire?  

Could I be more like my tiny little index finger fix-it crews, who work merrily and silently, to pitch in and lend a helping hand? 

John Boston is a local writer. His bookstore is at

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