“May I prod you?”
“With what?” I blurted out, nonplussed. Since I am a country girl I suppose all I could think of were cattle prods.
As it turns out, the scleral flap he had placed inside my eye to control the drainage through the shunt was not situated exactly right. He needed to move it, and the only way to do so was to “prod” my eyeball.
He took two six inch long cotton swabs, eased them into my eye socket over the top of my eyeball and, while watching the progress through a lighted scope, proceeded to mash down on that eye for all he was worth. At least that’s what it felt like, but perhaps that was because that eye still had a fresh incision. As you can imagine, I sat as still as I could. Doctors always tell you not to put Q-tips in your ears. I wonder what my other doctors would have thought about two big ones sticking out of my left eye socket. A friend was with me and witnessed this a little uncomfortably. “Almost lost my lunch,” I think was what she said, “but the young resident watching the procedure looked grayer than I felt.”
Eventually the internal flap moved a millimeter or so and he was pleased. “Sorry,” he said. “I know that was uncomfortable.” Indeed, I thought, somewhat “Britishly.” After all these years he is wearing off on me.
We are prodded often in our lives, and like me at that moment, it is always our choice whether or not to allow it. Too many times we make the wrong choices. “He made me mad,” is inaccurate. What happened is, I let him make me mad. I allow the words and actions of others to create wrong reactions in me. I allow the pressures of society to push me into bad decisions. I allow temptation to overcome me, instead of me overcoming it. And in every case it is no one’s fault but my own, because the choice was mine.
How do I know? Because when there comes a time of good prodding, good provocation--let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, Heb 10:24—then I ignore it when it is not what I want to do. If one is my choosing, then so is the other.
Satan prods us all the time. Sometimes he uses circumstances; sometimes he uses people; sometimes he uses ideologies. It is always up to us to recognize the true source of those things and choose to ignore it. Instead we must find those who urge us toward the good, encouraging proper attitudes and actions through example or teaching.
Just like those cotton swabs pushing on the outside of my eyeball affected what was happening on the inside, provocation works on the heart and the attitudes. In the final analysis it is up to us to make the right decisions. Just who is asking, “May I prod you?” Is it the Lord, or is it Satan? To which one will I listen? What will I choose to do?
[Love] does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not provoked, takes no account of evil, 1 Cor 13:5.