Over the past ten years, I have been dealing with a series of dental issues. Bad genetics have kicked in, and one by one, I have been losing teeth. Now that I’m at the end of this process, I wish I had saved all the extracted teeth and put them under my pillow at once. The tooth fairy would have owed me big time!
On June 15, the last tooth marked for extraction was removed. After twelve extractions through the years, you would think that I would be an old pro in the Dentist’s chair. You would think that by now, these trips to the oral surgeon would seem routine. This trip wasn’t routine. The last tooth in this project decided that it was not going to give up without a fight. The Dentist was a pro, but I heard some doubt creeping into his words of assurance.
With my heart racing, and all the noise and pulling and tugging, I was close to the point of panic. Then, I reminded myself: this will be over soon. I kept reminding myself of this. It would be over soon. And eventually it was.
Most of us go through things that we hope never to repeat. From dental procedures to things far more painful and life-altering, things happen to us that we simply have to endure. The good news is that there is healing that comes after trauma.
Our world is in trauma. A pandemic keeps rearing its ugly head, disrupting our lives and denying us chances to freely associate with the ones we love. A divided nation keeps making it evident that we as a people need healing.
Healing comes. I looked at my last dental extraction site this morning. Everything is totally healed. You can’t even tell there was anything wrong. Time heals. And time will heal today’s gaping wounds in our society.
And we, the Church of Jesus Christ, can be salt and light to a troubled world. I challenge us all to be healers and peacemakers.
See you soon. What we do here matters.