By Buddy Hazell
I was saved January 4, 1970 and I was amazed at the changes that God made in my thoughts, attitude, habits and language. Before January 4th, I could not even say “Good morning,” without a string of four letter words describing you and your family. This story is about just one of the changes God made in my life.
About four months after I was saved, a neighbor, Bob Thornton, who lived half a mile from us (this distance is critical to the story), wanted me to build a barn for him. After we sat down and discussed just what he wanted, we agreed that if he would be there to help me on Fridays and Saturdays, I would work for free.
I figured up the material list and went to the lumber yard; got a cost estimate so Bob could have an idea what it was going to cost. He said we would have to wait a couple of weeks to start because he had to get a loan from the bank. I told him that in the meantime we could get all the dirt work done.
A couple of weeks later Bob called me and told me that the material would be there next Thursday. We had the site already laid out, so the next Friday we started working. The barn was going to be a pole barn with a dirt floor. Therefore, we set the poles, plumbed and braced them, and left them for the concrete to set. This was before the advent of metal buildings. We started tying the poles together with two by six purlins; this was before I was using nail guns, so we were using hammers to drive our nails with.
Bob had an emergency phone call and had to leave; I told him that I would finish the purlins and have things ready to start putting up joist and rafters the next day. It was getting late in the afternoon, and I was getting tired. I had dropped one 2×6 on my foot and had bumped my left thumb two or three times. It wasn’t really hurt, just throbbing a little bit.
I was using my 20 ounce framing hammer, and putting up the last purlin. When I was about to drive my last nail, and it was about two feet above my head, I set the nail and moved my left hand over about eighteen inches so that I wouldn’t bump my sore left thumb. I drew the hammer back and hit the nail, once, then twice. Then I drew the hammer back for the final lick; and I glanced over at my thumb, to make certain it was out of the way, and as I swung the hammer, I hit with all my might, ‘just what I was looking at’, MY LEFT THUMB! “Owwww! Man that hurt,” I cried out. I looked at my thumb, and it was split wide open; blood was spewing everywhere. I grabbed my thumb with my right hand squeezing as hard as I could. I forgot all about my pick-up, I just took off running as fast as I could. I ran all the way home, burst through the door shouting, “Honey, Honey, look, look.” She cried, “What did you do, what did you do?” I had blood all over me and I held up my thumb saying, “Look, look, I didn’t CUSS, I didn’t CUSS”… The Bible says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” II. Cor. 5:17.