Saturday, January 15, 2011
It was only a tooth. A molar. One I’ve carried around in my mouth for decades.
When the dentist gave me the choice of saving it for $2200 or extracting it without anesthesia for $220, I had no choice.
“Pull it," I said, and then bit my lip, trying not to cry, all the way home.
My husband agreed to wait for me in the outer office on the day of the appointment.
The assistant called my name and led me to the room in the far corner of the building, put a show on the computer TV about abused dogs and left me to wait.
An hour later, shaking from some ingredient in the Novocain, I smiled as the dentist returned.
“A few tugs, and you’ll be done,” he promised.
He then began what I can only describe as medieval torture.
“We’ll need to cut the tooth in half first.”
No, he hadn’t mentioned that part at the consult.
Soon I smelled the odor of burnt hair. Only it was bone.
When four hands found my mouth and the tugging began in earnest, I tried to clear my mind by praying.
Then I thought of the unexpected letter that had arrived in my mailbox only minutes before I left home.
My heart beat slowed.
A writer I haven’t seen in two years, who used to attend my group, mailed me a copy of her story that had been published. Her first published story. One I’d helped her edit. She wanted to say thank you. When I last saw her, she’d been diagnosed with cancer. Now she was a published writer, healthy.
My jaw relaxed.
As I pressed my head against the back of the chair, waiting for that moment when the dentist told me I could leave, I couldn’t help but be in awe of God’s timing again.
The Great Comforter.
When was the last time you felt God comforting you?