I haven’t been to the dentist since I was pregnant with Elam. I know, yikes. (he is 21 months old!)
I went yesterday. I kept saying to the dentist during my “interview” or exam, “I’ve never had much trouble with my teeth.”
Then he opened my mouth and proceeded to tell the assistant to keep an eye on about 12 of my teeth. “flag them,” he’d say. Then he measured my gums. That went badly.
To put it simply, I might have fine teeth (minus the few signs of decay – a scary word) but my gums are a mess.
After about an hour of the horrible scraping, the hygienist asking if I was ok and telling me ibuprofen normally deals with the pain, I heard my voice in my head, “I never have any problems with my teeth…” I must have said that 100 times. Dumb. Dumb. I didn’t even know that I had a cavity in there. Shows you how often I actually look in there.
As I sat there, I told the hygienist I had a parable starting in my head. ( I had plenty of time to think …)
Now before anyone starts hurling up their last meal thinking of yourself in the chair, let me share the parable.
We can think nothing is wrong with our teeth. We can go about our lives, brushing, flossing (occasionally) eating and going to bed without brushing. We think we are ok. Until someone who knows what they are talking about takes a look INSIDE our mouths! Those people know way more than I do about gingivitis (another scary word). They implored me to floss, to come more often and warned me that if I didn’t, in 3-5 years I’d be in serious trouble. It was a humbling 2 hours.
Isn’t that like our soul condition sometimes? We think we are fine. We might even have a glaring “cavity” that anyone with adequate eyesight notices, but it’s a blind spot to us.
But every once in a while, there comes along someone who might just know more than I do. And I get to choose whether or not to listen, repent (change directions) or go about destroying a part of myself.
I had an oral hygiene conversion. I have flossed about 5 times since yesterday. It was painful at first, I could barely eat lunch and had 2 ibuprofen and a nap in the afternoon, but sometimes the truth hurts. And I’m not willing to pay the greater cost if I ignore my problems with my teeth. I hope I’m as responsive when it comes to life with Jesus.
Now, I wonder if ibuprofen helps sooth the pain of receiving the bill from the dentist’s office? Because Brian goes in tomorrow…