Thinkings from a dentist’s chair

Sitting in a dentist’s chair with enough Novacaine in your mouth to make it feel like you’re harboring an elephant gives you lots of thinking time.I had a few teeth that needed filllings and two that needed extracting, per my orthodontist’s orders. I blithely thought, “why not take care of everything at once.” To do that, howsoever, they had to numb every bit of my mouth except for the floor. It’s an incredibly odd feeling, that of having ownership of lips and a tongue, but not being able to feel them. What’s worse, they asked me to stick out my tongue so I stuck out what I thought was my tongue, hoping devoutly it wasn’t my tonsils or small intestine.
And you know, nothing really hurts after the initial pricking and pinching off the big, bad needle. It’s just a whir of pulling and noises and lights and tools that bump and grind and an occasional, “You okay down there, honey?” ( he’s allowed to say that, because this is the south and he’s over 50 🙂 You really want to get honeyed and sweethearted, and dolled and stuff, just try standing behind a cash register and help a couple hundred of people a day.
The dentist left for a little after the fillings were done and I was done fighting unfair battles with forces not to be reckoned with so I said to the nurse, “ahhhhh eeeeeee eeeeeee ewwwwwww ohhhhhhh ewwwwww uhhhhhhh ahhhhhhh ewwwww.” She looked at me sympathetically, remarking on how long I’d been on the chair and kindly showed me the bathroom. I’m in awe of her foreign language expertise.
But back to the thinking…..I was trying to imagine a numb life. A life without pain. Or suffering. Or hardship. There are times I foolishly think I could really enjoy that. It would be nice not to feel the heartbreaking pain of the death of a dear friend.To not have a heart bleeding for abused children and the pain they go through. To not have to worry and wonder over children in Liberia who are for various reasons, involved in witchcraft and things you and I have never gone through. Can you imagine life without all that?
But imagine also a life without joy. For without pain, one can not experience joy. You can’t experience the good in the absence of the bad because there would be nothing to define goodness and badness. Lasagna wouldn’t taste nearly as delicious if I wouldn’t have baked oatmeal to compare it to. (now you know my feelings on both food items 🙂
  Imagine a life without smiles, for smiles are a result of joy and happiness. A life without laughter and kindness and thanksgiving.
I tried to find the story of the People in the land of the Middle. It’s an interesting and soul searching read about a land devoid of emotion. It was never hot nor cold. The people were neither happy nor sad. Theirs was a life without color, without tears, and without smiles. I find it fascinating and disturbing all at once. Give me a life with tears and heartbreaks and questions…..because then I can know happiness, comfort and healing.
There’s all kinds of emotional novacaine out there to rob you of feeling. Lies. Society is out to numb you of certain things to get you to experience others. I think of the many innocent young children all over Africa who are brain-washed, given a gun and told to kill. And they do, without emotion.
This is not a post about letting your feelings dominate you and celebrating them to the extent of not living in reality. This is just a post of thanksgiving to the One who gave me the capacity to feel love and pain. To laugh and cry. And to live with meaning.

The miracle of life

A letter to Jeremy
Welcome to the world, Jeremy, and more specifically, welcome to our world! It’s nothing short of a miracle, how such a little bundle can bring such great happiness. How such a little bundle can turn a household upside-down, can keep a grown woman up most of a night, and can have cousins fighting to hold it. All this to say, you are a pretty special bundle.
You came to your family, and to us in a very special way. God, the Creator/Weaver, pulled the strings and wove together a very beautiful design that led to your arrival. You were prayed for and cried for. Your brothers wanted another sibling very badly. Your mom wanted another armful of babyness to hold. And your dad wanted another son to trail him on the farm. And then God answered prayers, and sent you.
You were surrounded by love since your birth. The people who took care of you before you became part of your forever family loved you very much. Love surrounded you and will surround you through your life.
You will learn all kinds of things in the next couple years. You will learn about colors…..white is for cows, your dad will teach you. Green and yellow are for tractors and equipment. Black and blue is for tussling and playing with your energetic brothers. And red, for a whole lot of love.
You have grandpas who will give you gator rides and teach you about golf. Your grandmas will fix all kinds of good things to eat and give you horseback rides. And your cousins…. well, we won’t even start on that. Because they’ve already spoiled you. You whimper a little, and they all come running to see what you need. We will cuddle you when you are little, read books to you when you get older,teach you to read when you turn 2, and discuss and debate with you when you grow up. Yours will be quite the life, I can already tell.
You came to us in a unique way and because of unique circumstances. As you grow older, you may hear you are inferior becauses of it. That’s not true! We are made in His likeness and He never sends Himself down in inferior or second-best packages. Adoption is a beautiful metaphor of the Christian life. We have all been adopted.
 You are neither more special, nor less special because of this. You are exactly how God wanted you to be, a sweet little 8 lb bundle that could win a yelling contest, no problem.
We love you Jeremy…..welcome to our world!