I was particularly disturbed by the actions of one of my recent customers. I pride myself on being gentle and compassionate in my dental practice and people often remark on how relaxed and homelike an atmosphere they sense when they come in. So Patient Patty’s (not her real name) behavior was a little shocking.
Patient Patty was a very nervous lady in her early thirties who booked an appointment to extract one broken down tooth in the front of her mouth. When I examined her mouth, I realized that two of the neighboring teeth were in a similar pitiful condition. I proposed to her that we extract all three teeth since she would already be anesthetized and there was clearly a need. She reluctantly agreed. She had a hard time with the needle but made it through. I stepped away for a brief meeting while the numbing was taking effect. Less than five minutes later, my assistant rushed in to tell me that Patient Patty was stealthily making her way out the door!
“What?” I exclaimed.
I ran around the counter and gave her a firm hug (which I don’t normally do with my patients), while simultaneously walking her back to the operatory. She sat for all of three seconds then jumped up.
“I can’t; I just can’t. I am going to have a panic attack,” she cried.
I let her go reluctantly, disappointed that after getting through perhaps the ‘hardest’ part of the procedure, she was just giving up and going back to painkillers, until another bout of extreme pain drove her back into my, or somebody else’s, office. Now I knew why her teeth were in such a state. She had never trusted anyone enough to just surrender all – her fears, her worries, her mouth.
It made me think of my relationship with Christ. Am I trusting Him enough to let go of ALL my worries and fears? Although He has declared through His Word that He is more than willing to give good gifts to us His children, do we accept them? Do I allow Him to wrap His loving arms around me to still the hurts and disappointments of life, or do I run out convinced my way is the better way?
I may not be able to convince all of my patients that I am the answer and the solution to their biggest problems, but I know Someone who can.
“Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lead not to your own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)