The Hand Injury
by Ellen Ferguson
The last week of October, 2012, my husband Tim and I drove up to Maryland to spend the best part of a week with friends. Another couple, who live in Philly, met us in Maryland so that all three couples could spend some time visiting and catching up.
One afternoon we all headed out to see a huge Amish barn in Philadelphia that our Maryland friend was renovating. We were planning to go for lunch afterwards. The women were riding in one car and the men in another. I was riding in the back seat behind the passenger seat.
Once we got to the barn site, the driver parked the car at a slant, with the back positioned slightly downhill. The friend on the passenger side got out and stood with her door open as she put on her jacket. The car being positioned as it was made it hard for me to exit the back seat, so I put my left hand out to use the center column and pull myself out. (The back door is hinged on this column and the front door closes on it.)
The front seat passenger didn't realize my hand was where it shouldn't be, so she swung her door shut, trapping my hand in a crushing grip. I saw stars and almost fainted from the sudden trauma. My hand felt absolutely shattered. All I could do was scream “Open the Door! Oh God! Open the door! Open the door!!” My friend immediately opened the door and she and the driver were horrified at what had happened.
As we walked toward the other car, I held my left arm bent at the elbow with my hand up in the air, and resting on my right hand. The hand looked discolored and frankly, sort of mashed looking. At first I was afraid to look too closely or try to move the fingers around at all as there was so much pain.
I was standing there in anguish when suddenly I felt a sensation, a sort of energy that went from my elbow up my left arm and out my fingertips, taking the pain with it! I was stunned as I moved my fingers around easily with no pain. All I could say was, “It seems to be okay now.”
Everyone looked at me in amazement as if to say, “That can’t be.” Someone made a bag of ice and put it on my hand when I noticed a tiny bruise between two of the knuckles. I thought this was just the beginning of the severe bruising and swelling that was to come. One of our Maryland friends is a doctor, and I don't believe he thought a car door had actually closed on my hand; perhaps I just thought it did. After all, it’s impossible for that to happen and not sustain any trauma, as even the tiny little bruise that was forming disappeared.
We finished the tour of the barn and went to lunch afterwards; I used my hand normally with no pain. My hand has been absolutely normal from that point forward and has never given me a moment’s problem; no bruising, no marks or cuts, no pain, absolutely nothing.
I have tried and tried to figure out what happened that day and why my hand was spared what should have been a terrible injury. One of our friends kept saying afterwards that it was a miracle, and I keep trying to find an alternative explanation, but so far I’ve come up with nothing.
At the time it happened, it ran through my mind that I would not be able to work any longer, as I needed to be able to use a computer. It never crossed my mind in the brief moments before my hand was freed, that there wouldn’t be severe damage of some kind. Whatever the explanation, I give thanks on a regular basis.
Perhaps Spirit just wanted to remind me that I’m not alone and that sometimes miracles do happen. I keep thinking of the fact that before the trip I mentally placed myself in a bubble of the white protective Light of Christ. Could that be the explanation?
Ellen Ferguson lives in a small community outside Durham, NC and works at Duke Clinical Research.