Pushing a Fish Hook Through

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.  

James 5:16      


Years ago, I was fishing along Pinkham Creek when I slid on the bank and jammed a fishhook into my finger. The hook was sunk past the barb so I couldn’t yank it out.  

I walked back to my in-laws house and asked my mother-in-law, “Who’s the best surgeon around here?”  

“Either Harry or Randall.” 

“Where are they?” 

“Out by the tack shed drinking a beer.”  

“Oh,” I said. “Who’s the second-best surgeon around here?”  


I went out to the corral and let them inspect the damage. They didn’t see much of a problem; if you can’t pull the hook out, you just push it through and there you are.  

Sadly, they were unable to perform the surgery because their patient kept yelping in pain. I chose to abstain from the operation, but quickly noticed that it’s hard to carry on a normal life when you have a #00 Mepps spinner dangling from your index finger.  

In the end, I went to a doctor, who inspected my finger and said, “Oh, well, you simply have to push the hook through . . . like this . . . and there you are.”  

And “there I waswith a tidy little doctor bill – and half the day wasted.   


Apologizing to someone is painful – it’s like pushing a fishhook through your finger. When we apologize we’re admitting that we were wrong, and who likes to do that?  

So, since mustering the courage to apologize to someone is so difficult, here’s an idea: don’t do it. Blame your behavior on other people or circumstances beyond your control. 


In 1939, German scientists had developed a devastating weapon, the V-2 rocket, against which the Allies had no defense. But Hitler was in a grumpy mood as he stood in the pouring rain to watch the demonstration of the new rocket. He rejected its use.  

On July 7, 1943, the inventors of the V-2 rocket again showed Hitler its potential, and this time Hitler realized that they could have dominated the world had they manufactured and used this weapon earlier.  

Hitler apologized for failing to see its potential. And then he made a revealing comment. He told the scientists it was only the second time in his life that he had ever apologized for anything.  


By refusing to apologize, Hitler spent his life blaming the Jews and everyone else for his behavior. Rather than apologize, he endured a lifetime with a Mepps spinner stuck in his finger.  And the world learned what denying guilt can do to a man. 


When we learn to say, “I’m sorry,” the fishhook comes out, relationships are restored, and the healing begins.  

(copyright 2011 by Marty Kaarre)