Hey and happy Friday!
On Wednesday I did something that made me feel like a kid again. I had a filling replaced. I grew up on Slow Poke suckers and other sugary, chewy candies in the days before fluoride was added to toothpaste and water. As a result, cavities and dentist chairs have been a part of my story. I thought we had crowned all that was left, but apparently one molar hiding in the back was still sporting silver and was needing an upgrade.
As I sat in the chair and braced myself for the numbing, I fought panic like I always do. Around five years old or so I had an abscess above one of my baby molars. My mom took me to a dentist who was apparently not a nice man because he ended up just pulling the tooth without any means of numbing. If you know anything about baby teeth, the molars are the last to go so this was not an easy or painless process. The result is that, while I am fine with my bi-annual cleaning appointment, any thing more complicated takes me right back to that chair and I have to fight fear.
Since I am getting along in years, I felt compelled to tell our young, kind dentist why I was being such a baby. He was sweet and patient and talked me through it all. What I didn’t tell him as he worked away in my numbed mouth was something else that happened and always accompanies the traumatic part of that day.
My mom was in the waiting room and could hear me screaming and crying. They were restraining her and if you knew my mom, she was tiny but mighty. She was furious when they finally let us be together and she told them whatever follow up was needed we would not be returning to them for it. I have a tender memory of the rest of that day as my mom sat holding me in a rocker. I can remember resting my head against her, the feel of the afghan my aunt had knitted for her and that she just stopped everything and held me.
You have to know. My mom was not a hugger or a holder. She had her reasons and she showed love in other ways, but physical touch was not one of them. She also didn’t just sit and do nothing. She was always busy with projects or crafts or work around the house. So that day stands out as one where my mom set aside her schedule and her norm and just held me. I treasure it and though I don’t think often of it, it came to the forefront and brought me comfort.
As I sat there with water spewing around and the sound of drilling and filing, I realized that as awful as that event was to me as a child, it brought about one of my most precious memories of my childhood.
We are going through some ugly times as you may have noticed. On top of the Covid and the violence and the hatred and the conflict, we have personal issues that seem to be mounting up at alarming rates. But in the midst of it, we are experiencing some of the holiest of moments with family and friends. The darkness of these times seems to accentuate the beauty of things that we would not be experiencing if life had just gone on as we knew it.
The fire is hot and the trials and testings are real, but when we come through we will be refined and we will carry out treasures untold. God is so good to us. He really is. Continue to hold fast to the Hope that we have in Christ. I pray for you to begin to see in the midst of this difficult season the glimmer of the gems He is giving us each day.
You are deeply loved <3