When you’re thankful for a root canal

This morning I got on the scales like I do every morning. And the blessed thing registered that I was two pounds heavier. For once, I didn’t swear off chocolate, processed food and every calorie that ever lived for the rest of my life. I was just happy to be doing something routine.

The last few days have been boderline insane. My sweet husband, who usually goes about his business in a quiet, non-complaining way, was in crazy pain. Spasms of pain spread over one side of his face and neck, sending him to the ER. This last week included one trip to his physician, another to the ENT specialist, three visits to dentists, and five jaunts to Walgreens – all in a span of four days.

We were given heavy-duty medication for a nerve problem. We were to be scheduled for an MRI. We had scoured the web for all sorts of ailments and diseases (Which reminds me, someone needs to print a T-shirt with the logo: Stop WebMDing stuff!).


Loong story short, on our last trip to the oral surgeon we discovered that all the crazy pain was due to a fractured/ infected wisdom tooth.


There’s a CS Lewis quote that goes: “What do people mean when they say, ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good’? Have they never even been to a dentist?”

Well, in this case, the dentist turned out to be our voice of reason.

Never were the words “root canal” more comforting to anyone.

The huberoo got into our minivan after the discovery that his mystery illness was a tooth and proclaimed, “I really need to vacuum this car.”

My neat-freak husband was back. Hallelujah!

There’s a lot I learned these past few days.

Like, when life gets crazy, I can’t keep up with the regular stuff like eating right, helping with homework and cleaning the house. (Who am I kidding? That happens on regular days too.)

Sometimes, every fiber of your being is consumed by something you can’t control. You can’t keep up with what people expect or your to-do list. Maybe you can’t even pray because you’re too exhausted.

Which makes me stop and think: I need to cut people some slack. Because, goodness knows, I haven’t walked in their shoes.

I dare not be critical of the mom who hasn’t looked through her son’s homework or one who has never packed a school lunch.

Or the parent who cut me off in the school drive through lane. Maybe she needed to get back home to someone who was unwell. I know that on my fifth trip to Walgreens this week I was kind of a minivan maniac.

I dare not be haughty about someone who doesn’t ever return an email or even a smile. Maybe it’s just too darned hard to muster up the energy to be polite.

I pray that I extend grace in the face of what may be deemed impolite or socially unacceptable. I pray that I smile even when I’m faced with a stone-cold wall. I pray for eyes to see beyond the obvious.

Like the old Amy Grant song goes, I want my “Father’s Eyes” – eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain. Knowing what you’re going through and feeling it the same.”

Meanwhile, I’m grateful for being able to obsess over the inane – like a number on a scale. And I’m grateful for a God who is patient with His work in progress.


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