I have this thing called trigger finger. It causes your tendon to lock. So when I make a fist and then open it, the unaffected fingers open smoothly, but the affected fingers flick open like a switchblade. My ring finger on my right hand is not too bad. I have mostly a full range of movement, depending on how badly it's flaring up. My left birdy finger is worse. I can't easily close it all the way. When I do, it often locks pretty badly.
I demonstrated this phenomenon to my classes awhile back. I was trying out a splint to give my birdy finger a rest, so I felt I should explain it , so my students didn't think I was flipping them off. I made light of it as much as I could.
You see this thing has occurred in the past--maybe for five or so years. The first time it was pretty mild and it went away for a long time. Then it came back a couple of years later and I got a couple of cortisone shots from my doctor. It went away for about a year.
It came came back over the summer and got worse. I'd wake up in the morning and my birdy finger would be locked and would refuse to open. I'd have to massage it. During the day it was better, but could be painful at times.
And of course my left hand is the one I make chords with. It is usually flexible enough for that--but there have been a couple of times that I had trouble getting that finger to go where I wanted it to.
Anyway, today, as fourth period was starting and I was firing up my computer to take attendance, this little girl walks up to me and has this bag with the Victoria's Secret logo on it. She gives it to me and I study the logo and the look on her face--a look of compassion. I decide it's alright to see what's in the bag.
Now, aside from my concern about the logo, I'm also wondering why I'm getting a gift a week before Thanksgiving. I usually get stuff from kids just before Christmas, but not Thanksgiving.
I open the bag and there inside is a box with some kind of gloves in it. My first thought is mittens for the winter. I read the label and it says these are therapeutic gloves that encourage circulation for people with arthritis.
There's a card inside from her Mom. In her note, the mom explains that she wears these gloves mainly at night to help relieve her arthritis pain and that she thinks they might help me too. She also tells me that I can get them exchanged if they're too big.
I got big hands. No glove is too big.
As I realized what this was about, I was just a tad choked up. No tears, but that lumpish feeling you get when you realize that you could cry.
So this girl probably went home and told her mom about my trigger finger. The mom files the information somewhere and then, one day, probably while getting herself a new pair of these gloves, gets a pair for me.
God manifests himself in acts of kindness.