Have you ever felt the peace and total stillness of a moment…?
Like before you’ve had caffeine one morning (and before caffeine headache has set in), when you’re feeling totally healthy and whole, your mind is not filled with a thousand to-dos, next steps or the day ahead…
and you’re just able to sit…
in a nice reclining chair…
in a pleasantly painted (think easter or baby girl pastel colors) corner of a room looking out the window…
at the dentist.
And I’m dead serious… for me there’s a moment and a part of the dentist (probably right before those rigid square films are jammed into the soft under-belly of your tongue and just after the metal raking of the gums) that I TOTALLY look forward to.
I mean, take, for example, that moment where they lay that massive weight of a lead x-ray apron across your chest, stomach and hips…
Assuming you are comfortably dressed, the thermostat in the room is appropriately set and you’ve got yourself in the right position in the chair… to me, this is a beautiful moment…
Its like a security blanket. Well, okay, it IS precisely a security blanket… but I mean it in a different sort of way.
There’s something soothing, reassuring if you can just relax, still every portion of your body from your head to your toes and then just take that heavy blanket of love upon your body.
You know that’s a fitting metaphor for Christ’s love, by the way…
That despite the stressors and anxieties, even pains and discomforts, despite the seemingly methodical rhythm of everyday life-HIS love surrounds, engulfs, envelops and protects you like a lead x-ray apron.
Take this particular morning at the dentist as a case and point… my oldest son has been throwing up for 24-hours, my wife is spiraling trying to cordon him off while caring for 3 other screaming kids. And then what do we do… sit and wait in fear for the inevitability of the next kid dropping with severe gastrointestinal spasms?!
But not now. Not for the moment. Because right now, I’m in the recliner dental chair with my lead apron of love on, and nothing can reach me here.
I mean just take this one classic verse for example:
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. -Ephesians 3:17-18
3 quick things about his love that should astound you and me everyday that we draw breath:
ONE: you are lovable.
Despite all our short-comings, despite all your human brokenness and frailty, despite every insane thought, you are loved.
No one person too tough for it and no one person too undeserving of it.
TWO: only true protection is found here.
This kind of love can be your daily, everywhere, every place sort of love. Not just the window view, pastel colored, recliner chair dental room.
You can find temporary love in physical intimacy. You can find temporary love in a bottle, community of friends or some hobby, but the only truly safe place (for this life and the next) is within the love of the Father.
THREE: this love is enemy-love.
You see, what this post should be about is how dreadful and painstaking a dental visit is-how all dentists are the enemy. And yet somehow, I find it not to be the case with a little “other-worldly” perspective.
Its the same (that is to say, radically different) in God’s economy. In his way, the way of Jesus, we are called to love the one we are wholly opposed to. The one that could not be farther from us-physically, ethnically, ideologically. The one that it not only different but the one that is opposed, the one that is: enemy.
My hope and prayer is: wherever this post finds you today, that you would take one single moment of pause, deep breath and realize… You’re squashed by a big, fat, huge, heavy blanket of the Father’s love.