Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Toothpick

A few days ago something happened. To my toe. Involving a sharp, sturdy toothpick. Yeah. And while I don't believe in making friends endure frequent stories about mishaps with toes, I wanted to share with you something rather incredible about the story. So here goes.

It all started with a normal afternoon. Lunch was relaxing. Hen was upstairs in his cozy little bed trying to catch a nap. I had just let the boys outside in the side yard (where I can watch their playing through the windows) to catch some sunshine. I was taking some clean laundry upstairs to put it away when Hen started screaming. So I quickened my pace up the steps to see what was wrong. And on my way down the hallway I stepped on it. The toothpick. Not just one toothpick actually, but two tied together with a rubberband to make a cross shape. I live in a house with little boys, so don't be surprised that this creation existed okay?

Now you must understand that although I live in a house with legos and therefore am used to looking out where I step, the baby was screaming! And I admit I wasn't looking where my feet were, I just was looking toward the boy. And I stepped on it. Or perhaps kicked it? I don't know exactly. But it went into the side of my big toe, right through my thick sock. I didn't even feel it at first. That's how deep it was. And the baby was still screaming so of course I went and took care of him first before I looked down to see what happened to my foot.

Then I saw it. The toothpick, sticking out through my wool sock. And I admit I freaked out a bit on the inside. Um, wow. Through my sock. And ouch! It was starting to hurt. And shoot! The baby was still screaming. I decided to hobble over to the bathroom to grab a rag. Then I hobbled over to the phone just in case. The upstairs phone was not working, the battery was too low.

I hobbled down the steps. (Baby still screaming in his bed upstairs) Checked on the boys out the window. (still fine) Grabbed the phone and sat down. Phew. Now what? I didn't know what to do. It seemed too deep to pull out, but I couldn't tell for sure because of the sock. But I couldn't get the sock off because of the toothpick. I tried to pull it a bit, but it hurt and it was definitely in there. It wasn't bleeding at all, which actually freaked me out. I kept thinking that when I pulled it out it was going to gush. I decide to call J at work.

Now, I'm not sure what I was thinking but J works twenty minutes away. And he is awesome, but not the kind of person who is going to talk you through pulling a toothpick out of your foot over the phone. (I should've called Audrey) He heard me say "impaled with a toothpick" and laugh with a nervous, crazy laugh. He said, "I'm coming" and hung up the phone. Shoot! Now what? I tried calling him back, but there was no answer. So now, I either had to wait twenty minutes or find someone else to pull this thing out. I couldn't do it myself. I just couldn't.

I decide to call the boys inside because I don't know what else to do. They come in get one look at the toothpick and start asking a million questions. *sigh* I decide to call my neighbor. His business is next door and he's a practical kind of guy. And I taught him voice lessons so we know each other fairly well. His secretary answers the phone. I ask if he's with a client. Yes. I rattle off something about the toothpick and how I just need someone to pull it out. Could he stop by after his client. The secretary freaks out a bit, and then suddenly my neighbor is at the front door.

He walks over to me, sitting with the rag and the phone and the toothpick, on the kitchen floor. The boys all around me. He leans over and says, "What? That thing?" and pulls the toothpick out without warning in one, strong tug. I didn't even have a chance to cringe. It was over. The hole where it had been immediately swelled shut and it only bled a little. The end.

Now here is the crazy part. I was traumatized about the toothpick for more than a day. My foot really hurt every time I took a step. I kept imagining the toothpick stuck through my sock and it freaked me out. I kept talking about it to J. He was patient with me, but eventually said. "Honey, you are really traumatized. How come?" I didn't know the answer to this.

That night we were preparing for Badger's birthday party and I was up rather late. My foot was hurting so much. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself by this point and I decided to pray about my foot. It was something like this..."Father, my foot hurts" * a few sorry, tears falling at this point* "Why do things like this always happen? Why do I have to stay up so late getting ready for this party when my foot hurts?"

He didn't answer at first. He let me go through that night, working on all the preparations, struggling with my emotions and toe. But later the next day I heard Him. He said something like this. "Why did it take you so long to ask me for help dear one? Why did it take you so long to turn to me?" And I realized that during the "incident" I never once prayed. I never asked Him to guide me or heal me. I never asked him for strength to pull the toothpick out. I could have asked Him. He cares about everything that happens to me. (and to you, friend) He wants us to believe Him. Believe that He cares. That He is with us, helping us and guiding us in this life. And yet, I often times am so short sighted that I just hobble along on my own strength. Even when I'm not doing very well. Even when I have a toothpick sticking out through my sock.

It's not that I think God would've miraculously fixed my toe. What would the purpose in that be? But, rather that in moments of my day, I can either choose to acknowledge my dependence on Him as my Father and Lord, or I can choose to struggle through on my own. And one thing I know, that when I choose in the little things (and big things too) to trust, to abide in Him, to acknowledge that I believe He is with me in a real way....then and only then do I have peace that circumstances can not upturn.

I'm working on living this out today as the boys are sick.... and wheezing and asthma is proving to be more than I can bear on my own. So I leave you with my story, as I go to practice relying on Him. Perhaps you can learn through my toothpick you don't have to have your own. :)

1 comment:

  1. Im so glad you shared this. Its a good reminder for me that there is nothing too little to "call" him about.....this has blessed my day. <3! I do hope your toe is feeling better now!