The trouble caused by a splinter often seems completely disproportionate to its size. This thought became rather vivid as I found myself dealing with the wooden sliver, which had just entered my big toe.
I probably should have raised my foot higher when walking barefoot on the old wooden kitchen floor. No doubt I should have worn substantial slippers. Socks don’t protect (I once got a splinter through my sock) and my previous cloth slippers almost gathered a wooden grain. I supposed a pair of the hard-soled, sturdy, traditional Austrian slippers would be a better option. Maybe I ought to walk differently. And learn from experience.
At any rate, the splinter was there. It didn’t stop me moving around, but I could feel its presence. I briefly tried to get it out. However, it was pretty lodged in there, and so I waited until the next day when my fiancé could help me.
So, the following morning, sitting on a park bench, my fiancé began to free up the skin surrounding the splinter. Oh, that hurt! I decided I would have another go at it, at least then I could anticipate the pain. Nope, too painful, I couldn’t get myself to really go for it.
“That’s a good sign,” said my fiancé encouragingly when some fluid appeared. “It means it wants to come out.” He pressed my toe. I yelped loudly and then remembered the quiet morning. Suddenly, without requiring extra force from the sharp tweezers, the sleek splinter slid out easily and smoothly, no bits left!
Relief! As we walked on, I could still sense the discomfort, but the cause was gone. A salve was soothing it and a plaster was protecting it. A few days later, I no longer gave my toe much thought!
Sometimes there are things in our lives that we can’t get rid of by ourselves. It’s too painful or doesn’t seem to change by just trying harder or doing better. We need someone to help us. Ultimately, we need a Saviour, Jesus Christ, to help us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations which show us just how much we are dependent on Him.
I remember a colleague talking about how a characteristic of Christ’s encounters with people was His healing touch. “We, too, need His healing touch,” my colleague said. “Some things have been in our lives for many years that need healing; I have experienced that I cannot do it in my own strength, but Jesus can heal, giving new strength and a fresh start with Him.”
We need to bring our splinter to Jesus.
“Let Jesus serve you,” I heard a preacher tell us in a sermon. “Let Jesus wash your feet like the disciples; otherwise, you have no part with Him.”
Jesus loves each one of us so much that He wants us to let Him serve. He can remove the splinter, even if the process takes time. It comforts me to think it’s not all down to my own efforts. Jesus is able to do what I cannot do alone; He cleanses, heals, restores and gives grace. That gives me hope for myself and for others.
And then with His help, one step at a time, we can learn to walk differently.
Inger loves to share what God is doing and give people a voice as she writes for OM’s media team, based in Austria. She likes to go for walks—especially by the shore—make gifts and relax with a good brew of tea.