A reminder of God’s love
I went to the dentist today. A very rare occasion. I actually don’t mind going to the dentist, (I don’t have a phobia) but what I don’t like is the shame of letting the dentist see my imperfect teeth.
My gums were swollen the past few days. It was so bad on the 1st day that I couldn’t even speak clearly. I switched food for fruit juices. I took extra care to brush and gargle. I even read up home remedies and used salt.
Sin is like plaque. You don’t think it’s serious at first. But it builds up quietly and things grow out of proportion. There are always cautionary signs but often you’ll try to solve it yourself because you are too afraid, full of pride or shame, to reconcile with God.
On the rare occasion, you find the time to go to reconciliation. It is with a slight reluctance, but you go anyway because you know how bad things really are. You wait for your turn. Sitting and waiting feels like forever.
Unlike the drill-like sounds from a dental clinic, the only sounds you’ll hear from a confessional is peace or tears of release. Shackles unchained, burdens lifted, guilt erased and hearts expelled of sorrows.
How deep the Father’s love for us, that He waits patiently, extending His mercy.
The wounds of Christ
The dentist leaned over. She said, “It’ll take 20-30 mins. I don’t know how your threshold for pain is, but it will be painful. Any time you want me to stop, just raise your hand ok?”
I nodded, already dreading what was to come. I berated myself for coming here in the first place. I could have postponed it, maybe done half today and another half next week…
But it was time. I hid my hands in the pockets of my cardigan and clenched my fists. Although she said I could stop if it was too painful, I was determined to make it through without stopping.
She started. The drilling noise struck the first tooth and it hurt so bad. I flinched and clenched my fists tighter. I had to focus on something else – and so I did the only thing I could do in that moment – I prayed.
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.
Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from evil. Amen.
O Jesus, I know the pain I felt today is not even a smidge of what you bore for us. Thank you Lord, thank you. Today I kiss your wounds, and I lift your hands in praise and thanksgiving. How great your love is, that you endured for us, to save us, that we may know and be reconciled with the Father – I cannot thank you enough.
Thy will be done… May I be determined as you were, that no matter how difficult it may be, to place God’s will above all else.
Any time you want me to stop, raise your hand… Jesus, the King of Kings, he could have stopped at any time, but he kept his focus on fulfilling God’s plan. Teach me Jesus, to keep my eyes on God.
I endured as much as I could. Half done, half left. Then metal met bone and the pain was too much – I must have yelped or shut my eyes tighter because the dentist stopped and asked me if I was ok. I couldn’t speak. She asked me again, is it too painful? I was so determined to carry on that I considered motioning that she could continue. Then I opened my eyes to tell her so, and that was when I found that my eyes were flooded with tears. I nodded the truth. It was painful.
Could I carry on? I was almost done. Just a bit more… But the pain became more intense. So I asked desperately if there was a cold spray to numb the area. She said the only option was an injection. I said no. She encouraged me to carry on. Just a bit more, she said.
And so I dug my hands back into my cardigan pockets and nodded.
O Jesus, carrying the wood of the cross while walking to Calvary… still you were determined to fulfil the task set before you. Whenever I am at the crossroads, in decisions big or small, may I always choose to praise God and give glory to God in everything that I do.
Jesus falls the first time
Jesus falls the second time
Jesus falls the third time
Lord Jesus, the humanity you show us, allows us to identify with you every single day. How Great Your Love is. You fell but you got up every single time. You were tired, but steadfast. You were exhausted, yet faithful. Grow in us, a perseverance for the kingdom of God, so that we will stand stronger in faith with every step.
Also, show me Lord, how to be Simon to others. The Romans may have picked him out of the crowd, but by God’s grace, he was chosen to be there and help you. Open my eyes and my heart so that I will always be ready to help those around me.
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
The dentist carried on, and the pain grew. There was a spot that was beyond all that I endured so far, that I felt tears running down my face. I couldn’t help it. My first thought was, oh no how embarrassing, I’m tearing in front of 2 strangers.
the nurse began wiping my tears with a cloth.
I couldn’t see it – my eyes were shut – but I felt the coarse cloth gently wiping my cheek. What a great kindness! She didn’t need to help me, but she did.
Sweet Veronica, how great your love is, that you helped Jesus by wiping his face. With great courage you stepped out from the sidelines and reached out to Jesus with what you had – your veil. Pray for me, that I may be emboldened by the Holy Spirit to step out of my comfort zone and help others with all God has given me.
O Jesus, with great love Veronica wiped your face, bleeding and marred by dirt and sweat. With great love you also imprinted your Holy face onto her veil, be in my heart Lord, so that I can carry your love to all I meet.
I kept praying.
Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death. Amen.
Blessed Mother Mary, how hard it must have been to follow Jesus as He walked to Calvary; to stand at the foot of the cross; to hold His breathless body in your arms. How great your love is for God, that you continued trusting in God’s plan despite seeing everything go to shambles. How you must have longed to run to your son’s defense, to shield him from the torments, but you stayed patient and faithful. Pray for me, that I may not react without first seeking God’s will, and that I will remain patient and faithful to God even when things before me seem impossible.