Looking at a lowly cucumber, one would never guess its potential as a weapon. Or something you’d have to warn your kids to be careful to use.
I’m living–and hurting–proof that there’s more to a common cucumber than a salad fixin’.
I was shopping with my youngest, getting vegetables to make a salad for dinner. We’d found most of the ingredients, but I hadn’t seen the cucumbers.
I found them, heaped into a tower of green. On sale.
And set the domino effect in motion.
Cucumbers were rolling down the tower as I scrambled to grab them before they hit the ground.
One got away from me. Fell off the tower. Landed, point down, on my big toe, which was sticking out the front of my soccer flop.
It hurt like a scab being ripped off.
Debbie made fun of me as I danced around, not wanting to make a scene in the store. I was quite successful at making a scene in the store.
The initial discomfort did wear off. It became merely annoying.
I didn’t think much of it till the next day. When I put my shoes on to go for my morning walk.
It hurt to walk.
A week later, my nail started turning black.
I’m going to lose my toenail because of a cucumber?
Not something I’d have ever thought of or tried to prevent. I’ve dropped weights on my toes, heavy toys. They’ve produced the same results. They have heft. The cucumber has a–point?
Some of the most innocent looking things can cause pain. Possible heartache. Often regrets. Things we don’t plan for. Things that take us to places we don’t want to be.
How many times have I found myself in a challenging situation and wonder, “How did I get here?”
Rarely is it a huge leap into questionable behavior. For instance, undermining someone’s reputation because I’ve been hurt by things they’d said about me.
I would never think to do that. I respect and value people, and though I can struggle with fully forgiving, I’d never seek to ruin someone else by what I said.
But I might fall to criticizing someone for something they’d done. Or gossiping about them to others.
It wouldn’t be a great leap from there to being extremely critical and crabbing to people I have no reason to share such information with.
I’d never jump from point A to Z. But B doesn’t feel like such a huge leap. And if I become comfortable with B, C is a hop away. The small moves may feel uncomfortable at first, but I tolerate that and convince myself they’re not so bad.
As long as I justify my actions to myself, I can keep going.
Jesus reminds us to keep short accounts. We are encouraged many times to be alert, be on guard, be of sober mind.
Little things can trip me up. Things may be uncomfortable for the moment. If I insist on pushing through, they can be more damaging to me in the long run.
Dad gum small things. Who’d think they could have such a long-lasting negative effect?