I woke up at 3:28. Plenty of time to dread the upcoming dental work. A front tooth was loose. According to my dentist, the tooth could crumble when he pulls it. Then what?
I sat up in bed, imagining a 73-year-old woman with a missing front tooth. Not cute like with a five-year- old.
I felt like a fourth grader with the problem-solving skills of a fourth grader and no trust.
I want a wee bit of control over what happens inside my mouth and to my body. I know to trust and pray, but the worry thing can sneak up on me, right in the middle of a prayer!
Wide awake, so I went ahead and asked the Lord to surprise me today, to help me, to even delight me.
God surprises me daily with fawns, chipmunks, raccoons, barking squirrels. I asked with the heart of a five-year-old that He take control of my day, my tooth, and to delight me.
I told the dentist right off that my husband was in the car praying for him and me, to go ahead and do what he had to do, that I’d somehow deal with the outcome. He smiled and said, “The prayers of a righteous man. . . .” He knew scripture! I was actually seeking God where I doubted He was, but his quote touched my heart. I was all knotted, but I exhaled. Somehow, I’d be okay.
First the numbing shot. I knew the risk. (I might leave there with a gap in my smile.) Deep breath. After numbing came, the dentist pulled the tooth. It remained whole and intact! I cried a tear or two. It did not hurt. I’m just wired that way. When it is clear that God is near, I cry. Assertive enough to ask for what I need, but when God shows up, my heart melts, and it’s just too much to hold it all inside.
The dentist cemented the tooth back in! Still in awe and knowing God’s delight.
Back home, I have a song in my heart.
Again I am reminded, trust is something I do, my daily work. It may be the hardest work I do until the day I die. No matter what I see, I can trust God. He has got this and that and that other thing, too—all covered!
At 7:30 that evening, I heard music: “Farmer in the Dell,” like calliope music or an ice cream truck. I look around to see if an electronic device might have been left “on.” No, it was coming from outdoors.
We live in a remote place, next to a forest where there are old rising mountains, green and smooth. We are three miles from Push Mountain Road, seven miles from any footnote town. The music made no sense. I opened the door to find my husband bent over laughing. (I was still trying to figure out what was happening.) He said, “Come on, I’ll buy you an ice cream cone.”
An ice cream truck WAS coming down the valley road, out here in the big middle of nowhere!
I was five-years-old again! A stream of laughter from the two of us. We hooted and danced, and the ice cream truck had lights flashing and music playing. This was last thing you’d expect to come down our road. What a surprise! What delight! What a big God!
P.S. Thank you, dear readers. I value your comments and thoughts. You bless me.
Photo by Pat Durmon of Sadie the lab, Jimmy, her husband, and Isaac, the driver of the ice cream truck. Photo taken near Norfork, Arkansas, August 17, 2017.