Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The hidden infection...

I was lying there in the dentist chair for the third time in three weeks. I needed a root canal and the tooth just wasn't cooperating. The dentist showed me the x-ray of the tooth to reveal a pocket of infection that had eaten away at the root and completely closed off the canal. There was a real concern that the infection might enter my bloodstream if not attended to. I'm no dentist, but that didn't sound good.

The thing is, I had no idea I had a problem. Oh, I had an occasional tenderness on that tooth if I touched near the root, but how often did that happen? The real reason I had gone in was because my crown had a tiny chip at the top that looked like a piece of pepper was constantly caught in my teeth! I just wanted to fix the spot. My real problem was much deeper and I had no idea. Now I sat and listened to the dentist tell me if he couldn't get to the root, I could always pull it. Wait - it's my FRONT tooth!!!! That might have been cute when I was 5, but it wasn't nearly as adorable now that I'm over 50! I started praying for God to make a way where there was no way!

After what seemed like forever breathing in that delightful gas that makes it not seem so bad, the dentist finally finished and put in a temporary filling. He then told me he had almost at the point of giving up when he 'broke through' and found a passageway into that root and the problem. With a smile he gave me a prescription of painkiller and a HUGE bottle of antibiotic. I mean HUGE!!! Good grief! Just how bad was this infection?

Thankfully I have had little pain and this morning was mulling over the Random Thoughts that came from my visit(s) to the dentist. I was thinking about how the infection had been there for a while and was weakening, even destroying the root of my tooth...the very foundation. It had hardened the tooth to the point that there was no longer any life flow to my tooth. I had no idea since the tooth had a crown - a false front - on it. Man, I just knew I'd get a good blog out of this one.

Then it happened. My blog went from theory to reality. Out of the blue I ran into someone who had wounded me years ago. When that person came into sight, I felt the familiar stab in my gut of dread at having to deal with them. I just wanted them to go away. Yep, you know where this is going....God spoke to me - this person was my hidden infection. Dadgum it God, can't we just leave this in the theory stage?

I tried to ignore the pain and hurt caused by what happened - honestly can't even remember exactly what it was...but I remembered the pain that was associated with this person. I remembered how inferior they'd made me feel, how less of a person. There was a wound there and evidently it had been growing even though I wasn't aware. Seeing them again was like poking my tooth, proving that the problem was still there.

To be honest, I have noticed areas of my life where I'm not as "soft" as I once was. I'm not as open and much less willing to put myself out there. Oh, I put on a good front - sort of like my crown - but it was only masking a heart that was becoming harder and harder despite my best efforts to stay tender before the Lord. The "canal" has been closing since the hurt began.

I'm not supposed to tell these things, am I. Bitterness is an infection that we don't like to talk about. No one wants to reveal the yucky parts of their character, but if I am honest with myself they are there. Even though I have repeatedly worked on this area and tried to forgive, I guess I left a little infection at the root and it is destroying my foundation.

So here I am, admitting that I've got an infection that threatens my Christian walk. Now what? Gee, I wish I knew. I just know that God never reveals the "yucky" parts of our life in order to shame us or to beat us up with our failures. If He reveals it, it's so that He can do a work. We often call God the Master Physician...never thought of Him as the Master Dentist before, but I guess it fits.

To be honest, I'm looking forward to dealing with this about as much as I was looking forward to the root canal....but I know it's something that must be done. I don't want the infection to further harden me, nor do I want it to get into my "blood stream" and destroy me completely. And I will admit it, I DON'T want it to cause me to lose my front tooth...lose "face" as it were. (Funny how I'm more worried about that than something that could destroy my life!)

Perhaps a future blog will tell the tale of how God "healed" my hidden infection....for now I think I need to take another dose of "antibiotic" from His Word. Looks like I'm going to need a HUGE dose of it this time...and maybe some comfort from the Holy Spirit to help me through the process.

Happy healing everyone.

Matthew 5:44-45

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (Message) 9-10"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be."

Psalm 139: 23-24 (NIV) Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Karen said...

Thank you Donna. I am having some issues that are causing me to question Christianity and faith. But this put it in perspective. Enjoy your school year.

Donna said...

I don't pretend to understand what you might be dealing with, but I think a lot of us have question Christianity and faith at one time or another. I remember once standing and literally shaking my fist at God. His reaction to my outburst? He poured more love on me than I could have ever expected and showed me that I really had no idea who He was or how much He loved me.
I still have my moments, as exhibited in my blog, but God has never once turned me away.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. We're all in this together.