When I was about 11-12, my parents had an addition built on to our
home. I had fun spying on the workers and wandering around watching the progress. My normal outfit was jeans, a t-shirt, and bare feet.
One day while strolling through the back yard, I suddenly noticed I was walking funny. I didn’t feel pain, just noted that I was limping. I looked down to see what was causing this and saw a nail protruding from the bottom of my right foot. I had jammed it 2-3 inches into the soft tissue right below the ball. Once I saw it, I felt it---Oooooowwwwwww!!!!
I yelled and fell to the ground. Mom came running. The good news is that she knew what to do. The bad news is that she pulled the nail and poured burgundy wine into the hole. I can’t describe the feeling, and if I could, you’d want me to stop….
What You CAN'T See
The amazing part of this story to me is how far I walked with a huge nail sticking out of my foot. How could I not notice? Why didn't I feel it? How is it that my brain didn't register the pain until my eyes in essence said, "Oh Boy--that looks PAINFUL!!!"
Reflecting on it makes me wonder how many times we're all having the same experience. We have spikes sticking out of various body parts--literally and/or figuratively--yet we don't yet "feel it." We're limping, but haven't really noticed or, if we have, we're not aware of the ugly truth behind the limp.
Could it be that this is what the Bible refers to when it says, "He that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall (I Cor. 10:12)?" Is it possible that many of us have secret faults--nails in our feet--that we don't yet see?
The Psalmist wrote, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults (Psalm 19:12)." Perhaps this prayer is the answer. Rather than wait for a self-awareness resulting in a fall to the ground in painful agony (and an equally-painful treatment I might add), perhaps praying for revelation of the sins we don't yet see can help us move forward effectively.
Maybe it's the simple request to have God "cleanse us from secret faults," that can even help us avoid the nail to begin with. That, plus wearing shoes instead of going barefoot all the time, could have saved me some grief. I think it can save all of us some grief....
To that end,