The Best Dentist
I was playing tag at a campground with some friends younger than myself, and was intently running when a girl who was also running swiftly collided with me. It happened so fast I only knew it as I lay moaning on the ground, “Oh, my tooth, my tooth!” I was sure it was only hanging by a few nerves, it hurt so.
Eventually I was led to a nearby bench and lay there crying; why had this happened to me? The voice of God spoke to me, “Remember you told Me you had no faith I could heal anybody, only to clean up hearts?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“And that I said, ‘I can persuade you that I have that kind of power, too’?”
Yes, I remembered; He had told me that.
In my mind I was no longer lying on a picnic bench, but was in the dentist’s chair, my old dentist exclaiming, “Now how did you do that?! It’s going to be a bit painful, here….” Then I turned and was surprised to see Jesus looking at me. In a twinkling He put on the dentist apparel—apron, mask and cap—which were lying on a table before Him. He looked big and strong, yet His manner bespoke gentleness; and His eyes—I never had seen His eyes with that look in them before—“full of compassion…and of great mercy.” (Psalm 145:8) “I love you,” they said. I glanced at the regular dentist. Compared to Him, she looked rather shriveled up and shrunk in size. I shrugged my shoulders—not much of a choice, I thought; Jesus would do with one hand tied what that lady could at her ultimate best. “I choose You,” I whispered.
My tooth hurt horribly. With one probing finger I could “see” that it was pushed back halfway from its proper place to the roof of my mouth. It was not both front teeth as I had first feared; just the left one. But I couldn’t touch it; it hurt too much. I told Him that I simply couldn’t touch it, couldn’t stand it, let alone move it (as He had just said to do). Then He said, “I guess we’ll need this,” and He got out, to my amazement, one of those syringes and deftly filled it with whatever it is that deadens the nerves. Closer it came to my mouth and I shut my eyes (as I always do) so I wouldn’t have to see the wicked needle. And then my upper gum, left side, began to feel numb, until it was like I’ve felt before.
“Now,” He said, “pull your tooth forward.” I put my finger behind and pushed. It came forward until it was a tooth’s width away from its real position.
At this point I became aware of the little crowd watching me. Suddenly feeling self-conscious, I sat up holding the tooth forward; little by little the crowd melted except my parents and a few other adults.
It must have been near to suppertime, for we went to the dining area and I sat at one of the tables. Most of the girls my age acted as though they thought I was a baby for sitting there holding up my tooth (for if I let up on the pressure, the pain would make me wish I could twist out of my body and leave it).
Then Jesus came by my lonely spot at the table; behind me He whispered, “Push it up some more.”
“I can’t,” I said, “it hurts too much.”
“Now you can,” He said. So I tried once more. And behold! It was so numb in that gum that I could not feel it unless I touched it with my finger. So I pushed up and outward until it was level with my other big tooth and got it wedged between the teeth on each side so it no longer slipped.
I was happy; I realized Jesus cared for me whether others did or not. And He sure could throughly take care of the things I had to go through.
That numbing was deeper than any dentist I’ve ever had and lasted longer, too, and when it went away, it did not have that funny tingle; it just slipped away like it had come, so quietly.
I love this Doctor.
—A sister in Christ
“My Beloved is the chiefest
Of ten thousand anywhere.
He is altogether lovely
He is altogether fair,
My Beloved is so gentle
And is strong beyond compare.”
—Hind’s Feet on High Places