A New Front Tooth
By Karen Flowers
Richard looked at himself in the mirror with disgust. One thing was clear. He just couldn’t smile any more. If he kept his lips together, maybe no one would ever find out. But I’m ahead of my story. . . .
Richard was eleven years old. He was a happy boy with a big smile. That was until today. Only a few minutes ago he had been smiling and horsing around with his brothers at home while they were getting ready for school. When Mom called that the bus had arrived, Dick grabbed his clarinet and his backpack off the foot of his bed and ran for the stairs. Just as he rounded the curve at the landing half way down, he slipped, and the next thing you knew he found himself in a heap with his stuff at the bottom of the stairs. At first he thought nothing too bad had happened. He had consciously protected his clarinet, and what could happen to a bag of books. He hurt in a few places, but nothing was broken or anything.
Just then his brother Brendon came back in looking for him, hollering that he’d better hurry up or he’d be left behind. When Richard flashed a sheepish smile, a look of horror came over Brendon’s face. Your tooth! What happened to your tooth!
Forgetting all about the waiting bus, Richard ran for the bathroom. A quick smile reflected in the mirror explained his brother’s reaction. A big corner of his front tooth was gone and he looked like a jack’o’lantern. Would he have to look like this for the rest of his life, Richard wondered.
Everybody has things that happen to them in their lives that they didn’t expect. Sometimes they are happy things, sometimes they are frightening things, sometimes they are things that make you worry a lot. Jesus is glad when happy things happen to us. He also understands when we are frightened or worried. When He was here, He talked to His disciples about things that make people frightened or worried. He said we don’t need to worry, because He knows all our needs and He will take care of us. He wants us to leave the worrying to Him. To help us know how much He cares for us, He told His followers that He even knew how many hairs they had in their heads and every time even a sparrow falls. There are no experiences in our lives that Jesus doesn’t know about and that He won’t help us get through.
When Mom saw what had happened to Richard, she was reassuring and made an appointment to see the dentist as soon as his office opened. For Richard, the wait seemed like forever, but eventually Dr. Scribner was looking down at him with his kind eyes. Dr. Scribner told Richard there was lots of good news and a little bad news. The good news was that probably there was enough left of Richard’s tooth that the tooth would not die inside. The good news was that Dr. Scribner could make a cap to go over Richard’s tooth that would protect his broken one and look just like a real tooth. The good news was that fixing it wasn’t going to hurt a bit. The bad news was that this cap would have to be changed several more times until it could be permanently replaced when he was older. Richard thought he could live with that.
Remember, you may not know what will happen to you today, tomorrow, next week, or next month. But you can always know that Jesus is with you and will help you no matter what. Isn’t that good news!
Source: Family Seasons: Family Ministries Planbook. Silver Spring, MD; Department of Family Ministries, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1996.