Teeth, by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Choppers, canines, pearly whites, whatever you like to call them, they are vital to your health and well-being. It is why your mother called up to you every night, “Did you brush your teeth?”  I think the first lie any of us told was in the answer we gave.  “Yes, I did.”  However, the toothbrush was a dry as dust!

Christopher Curtis wrote this:

Six is a bad time ‘cause that’s when some real scary things start to happen to your body. It’s around then that your teeth start to coming a-loose in your mouth.

You wake up one morning and it seems like your tongue is the first one to notice that something strange is going on, ‘cause as soon as you get up there it is pushing and rubbing up against one of your front teeth and I’ll be doggoned if that tooth isn’t the littlest bit wiggly.

At first you think it’s kind of funny, but the tooth keeps getting loser and looser and one day, in the middle of pushing the tooth back and forth and squinching your eyes shut, you pull it clean out! It’s the scariest thing you can think of cause you lose control of your tongue at the same time and no matter how hard you try to stop it, it won’t leave the new hole in your mouth alone, it keeps digging around in the spot where that tooth used to be.

You tell some adult about what is happening but all they do is say it’s normal. You can’t be too sure though ‘cause it shakes you up a whole lot more than grown folks think it does when perfectly good parts of your body commence to loosening up and falling off you.

Whether you are six, twenty-six, fifty-six or ninety-six, losing a tooth has something to tell you.  Maybe you are actually having a tooth pulled.  I do not mean that kind of pulling.  Let me explain the tooth story for you.

Let’s suppose that the tooth on the way to coming “a-loose,” is some very bad habit you have.  At first, it was not a habit.  It was just something naughty that happened only once.  There was something about it though that seemed if not good, at least pleasant.  So you wiggle the habit back and forth with that wishy-washy tongue of yours called the conscience.  Each time it gets easier to do.

Finally, with much effort, the habit falls out and you are forced to look at it.  Your conscience plays with the empty space, and if you have called on the powers that are at your beck and call, you will try to see that something else needs to fill that space where the front tooth or bad habit used to be.

Wouldn’t it be something if every bad or sinful habit showed on your face?  Jealousy would make a front tooth green.  A bright red tooth would indicate greed.  Pride, that sin that says, “I do not have any bad habits or sinfulness,” would show up as broken black teeth whenever a person did not acknowledge Pride.

What a wonderful time is given to us to review all our attitudes, our wishes, our actions, and thoughts. Lent is that time. Just as the six-year old will be surprised because another tooth has popped in the space where one was lost, So we can be surprised at how the Holy Spirit, gift of Jesus to us, will pop up and strengthen whatever we make efforts to develop.

If only we could see how the Spirit works in our lives, we would be totally amazed.  Find God everywhere and you will be praying always.

Blessings on you and your Lenten Practices!  If you really do practice, you should be experts at keeping your resolutions when Easter arrives.  Your smile will be radiant, and the love of God will be shining through!

Peace, Joy and Everything Good,

Sharonlu OSF


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