And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.
- Exodus 21:27
Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
- Proverbs 25:19
When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.
- Deuteronomy 29:19
I think my father’s expression for anytime I made the claim that I just “had to have” something was: “Boy, you need that like you need another hole in your head!”
Now that I have another hole in my head, can I have whatever it was that I thought I needed but not really? But what did I want? It might have been a candy bar. It might have been a toy. One of the things was a chemistry set. One of the reasons that I became a chemical engineer was that my Dad refused to consider buying a chemistry set and I wanted to know what I missed in not having one. That particular hole in my head was an important one.
Okay, for a back story on the hole in my head. Since the beginning of the year, I have had a variety of pains above the shoulder. Almost daily it has been a horrible crick in my neck, but much of the time the pain is near that one spot, really two alternating spots, indicating that I either have clogged eustachian tubes or an all-out ear infection. I almost always had a mild to moderate headache, usually over the temples, but not always there. But then, I have had a return of my severe dry eye, possibly partly caused by the sinus issues and rosacea. And at times, my hair hurts. I know, that’s not possible, but sometimes the CPAP mask would mat my hair in such a way that touching it, to straighten it, would be like jabbing my scalp with needles. But thinking of the CPAP mask, the last of my good masks broke, and I found some “samples” which I have made work. But in learning the idiosyncrasies of the new mask, I developed blisters across the bridge of my nose from the rubbing of the plastic seal. (Amazing that no one commented on the bandage across my nose when we went to church. If they do not notice, do they care?)
Before I go on, none of these pains kept me from doing anything. I never missed taking my wife to dialysis, the pharmacy, or grocery shopping. I never missed any of her other appointments. I never missed teaching Sunday school or a prayer meeting. I kept up my pace of writing posts. This one will be the 138th or 139th post since the first of the year.
When the pain was about at its worst, I commented on a post by Linda Lee, of A Blog about Healing from PTSD. After I pressed send… And is it not always AFTER you press send? I thought what I had written rambled too much and a reader might think I was saying something that I was not saying. I apologized, but she had read the comment as I had intended. There was no problem there.
But if you noticed all my ailments and the common word for two of the Scriptures above, why would I lose a tooth when I had no tooth or even gum or jaw pain? But if you have a headache, ear infection, and severe neck pain, would you notice the tooth pain that simply makes you feel ill?
Back about two weeks before writing this, I bit into something extremely soft – no hard candy, uncooked popcorn kernel, a cough drop, or a cube of ice (more on the ice later). A molar made a sharp “POP” sound. The tooth was still intact, sort of, but cracked all the way into the gum line, following one of the roots. Upon hearing the pop, some of the pain instantaneously lessened. It was like something evil was inside that tooth and it just had to burst free.
And the really strange thing is that the only pain that I experienced after the crack formed was if there was anything that rested on the tooth, even a sheet of paper (something that thin), it felt like the tooth was a dagger digging into my gum. As it turned out, that was literally the case. A third of my tooth had broken free, a miracle it did not fall out, but each time that I bit down, the loose piece would dig into the gum, and then pinch. The dentist said that it was a miracle that the tooth did not cause excruciating pain as the crack went down, just above the nerve.
Was the tooth contributing to all the other pains and finally broke free? Since the pain lessened when it popped, I have to think that the tooth was a contributor. I still may have a mild ear infection. My sinuses are doing what they usually do this time of year. The headache comes and goes as usual. And my neck seems to have a permanent guest visiting, a member of the “itis” family, one or more of the cousins thereof, but probably “Arthur.” (For those whose English skills come as part of a second, third, or fourth language – Arthur Itis, otherwise known as arthritis, a cousin of bursitis, etc.)
It does not matter. Finally, the day for the dentist visit has come and gone. They would have simply let the third of the tooth fall away (with a little shove from one of their instruments), but being so close to the nerve, that would be worse for me in the pain department. Thus, I have a wad of gauss where a tooth used to be – not anymore, but at the time of writing this. And now I will have to get used to a new hole in my head.
And it is a bummer. I lost the tooth, but I had to pay them to remove it. I am not freed from my “slavery!” (The Exodus quote above.) Was the dentist unfaithful in my time of trouble? (The Proverb quote above.) Not hardly, but it seems the world does not live by Law of Moses anymore.
But is it not odd that the Dentist is one of those places where you go to lose something, and you have to pay them for it. Think about it. The Dentist, a Surgeon that removes your tonsils (or other things)… The list is rather short.
And on the same day that my tooth was pulled, my special gift came in for my wife. I can never get her to stop eating ice, like the person in the Deuteronomy quote. Crunch, crunch, crunch, all day. I have learned that eating ice is a common obsession for people who have kidney failure, as if ice does not add to the “liquid” intake. So, I bought her a tabletop soft ice maker. She loves it! It is a miracle that she has not broken half her teeth by now, while she was eating the full-sized hard ice cubes. And to think, both problems with teeth met at one of those strange intersections of life.
God plans things, and God is good. God even plans the weird stuff at times.
And it turned out that I really did need another hole in my head. Now for that chemistry set …
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.