For the past several days, I’ve had a pain in my left foot. Right below my big toe, in the fleshy “ball” portion of my foot, I would experience some rather sharp pain from time to time. It was so bad at times, I would be gimpy, and favor that foot when I tried to walk. I thought, though, that it was probably a strain of some kind and would get better with time.
Over the course of a few days, however, it did not get better. It seemed to be getting a little worse. I wondered if I needed to make an appointment with my provider to check it out since it was some kind of internal thing. Maybe it was more than a strain. Maybe it was an infection or some kind of misplaced bone or something.
This morning, after my shower, I walked out of the bathroom and almost fell to the floor when it started hurting. Sitting down on the cedar chest at the foot of our bed, I thought to myself what I needed to do, and decided to just take a look at the bottom of my foot, not expecting to see anything as the pain seemed to be internal.
To my surprise, there was a sort of “pimple” there right where it hurt the most. Fumbling for my glasses and making my eyes focus, I looked at it closer and noticed a dark line about 1/8 of an inch long sort of imbedded into the thickened skin. Could it possibly be?
I went to my junk drawer and found a hypodermic needle, one of three or four that we have specifically to remove splinters. I will tell you now that we have those needles, sans syringes, from our time in health care…they’re great for digging out splinters! I dug around a bit and out popped some kind of splinter. I cleaned up the blood, bandaged up the wound and dressed.
An hour later, I marveled at how much better my foot felt. And now, toward the end of the morning, I can barely feel where that thing was. There has to be some kind of life lesson here.
Something about 1/8 of an inch long, imbedded into a thick skin so superficially that it could be readily seen without digging at it had caused me some considerable grief over the past three or four days, even to the point of making it difficult to walk at times, and uncomfortable most of the rest of the time.
One can reap a multitude of life lessons from my experience. The one that comes out for me is how such a small thing can cause such a great (relatively speaking) pain and disruption in the normal course of life. A slender piece of wood almost too small to see gave me moderate pain, difficulty walking, and was a constant reminder through the day that it was there.
In the same way, seemingly small things in life can cause great heartache, disrupt one’s day (or week, or month), and change relationships. We need to be especially aware of the little things that come our way, as they have a habit of causing big waves in life.
So, the next time you have one of those nagging little splinters in your skin somewhere, remember the lesson…it’s the small things that sometimes cause the biggest problems.