I had a gynecologist and a dentist appointment today (don’t say I didn’t warn you about the candid part). I promise I won’t go into detail about the former*, but, as usual, the dentist got me thinking.
Before I launch into my usual philosophical interpretations of mundane events, you first need to know that I hate the dentist, and I have less than spectacular teeth. My teeth X-rays look like a star chart of cavities speckling the back of my mouth, and since my junior year of college, I have had an awesome root canal lighting up the front of my mouth like a bright planet (at least that’s what it looked like on screen today). I’ve had at least 6 teeth removed from my mouth, I’ve had braces, and I’ve had to have work on my front two teeth that prevents me from ever whitening my teeth (the white teeth wouldn’t match the repair colors). It’s actually taken me quite a while to not be so ashamed of my teeth that I can talk about them like this.
Part of my dental issues is genetics, and part of it is me not always being as careful about brushing as I could have been because it seems as though, regardless of my action/inaction, there’s always something wrong**.
What I noticed today is that my appointment went well because I was willing to calmly accept my faulty teeth, flaws in dental hygiene, and procrastination of finding a new dentist in Arkansas that probably contributed to the problem. Acceptance leads to healing and peace.
What I also loved was my new dentist’s demeanor. He did not scold, scoff, or shame me for my teeth. He was calm, kind, steady, and friendly while still being honest and holding the power to mend all my broken down parts; all the qualities of God I tend to forget in my stubbornness to ignore my human condition. It challenged me to likewise treat others that way. It challenged me to soften my heart and let God heal some of those spots I’ve ignored without reflecting them through God’s X-ray; His Word.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.
I know I should brush and floss twice a day, and I know God’s Word is something I need, but sometimes it takes a moment to be confronted with the truth in order to re-prioritize and renew one’s resolve to do what is best (even though I dislike it sometimes).
*NOT preggo disclaimer- just annual appt.
**For instance, my root canal wasn’t caused by trauma or decay; the root just died. I had five cavities today. Yippee skippee. It’s also a little ironic that out of my immediate family, I actually have the nicest teeth.