Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Prayers For the Dentist

The day after Christmas, in the midst of eating, a crown in the back of my mouth pops off. It's the weekend, and I call to schedule an appointment for the week following the next. I'll be leaving the country, so maybe it would be wise to have the crown cemented in, but it's not an emergency and it is the holiday. I'll be fine. But the next day, the gaping hole seems a little too gaping. Fear sends her questions like flaming darts: what if it gets infected? What if...what if...

I send my dentist a text. Less obtrusive to her life and to her young family than a phone call. I include a photo of my gaping, scary hole.

Fortunately, and possibly reluctantly, she returns the text with a time to meet at the office. I imagine she'll just lather the crown with cement and slip it into place--not too big of a bother on a Sunday afternoon. Hopefully. As I head out the door, I grasp for something to give my dentist--two days after Christmas, on a Sunday--for her trouble. Every Christmas treat in the house, is either eaten or given away. I pick up a pomegranate.

Ms. Dentist is cheerful--despite the 17 degree weather, the empty office and leaving the children who need her this Sunday afternoon. I am feeling humble, grateful, because I need her too.

It's not as easy as I suspect. She has to rebuild the tooth and we're almost at the hour when I climb out of the chair and hand her the pomegranate.

"I don't even know if it's a good one," I apologize.

That night, as I kneel in prayer, the first whisper out of my mouth is gratitude for my dentist. I then ask for Heavenly Father to bless her for her selflessness and service. I really want her to be blessed so I plead again. "Please watch over her and care for her."

And it hits me.

Is it possible that I too have been the recipient of prayers asking to bless me? Though it's not enough, when I do sacrifice to help others, is their gratitude as heartfelt as mine? Could my blessings come from the gratitude of others' prayers?

I am touched by the possibility, and I'm motivated to try a little harder, to show more compassion, to lend a helping hand when it's convenient and especially when it's not.