First posted December 2013.
Some people can make a story, or a sermon, out of just about anything. So here's an anything for today.
Actually it happened yesterday. Mr. Fixit was having a checkup at the dentist's, and across the hall the other dentist was examining an emergency case: a young hockey player who had broken off four or five teeth in a game. Not with a stick in the mouth, but by hitting a guard rail.
Hurray for our national pastime.
They brought his teeth along in a bag, but they were in too many pieces to put back together. The dentist said the choices were between pulling all that remained of the broken teeth, and giving the boy a bridge, or doing implants. They decided to go with the implants, but it will take about eight months to complete them. (Mr. Fixit got the full benefit of this from across the hall.)
The cost? Thousands of dollars. Not covered by health care or work benefits.
Ouch, and again ouch.
So we have a ready-made example of our fragmented lives and hearts. Like the shattered plaster angel in Jan Karon's Shepherds Abiding, sometimes there seem to be too many parts to put back together. Sometimes the consequences of our mistakes and sins will be felt for the rest of our lives. Like the mother bemoaning the cost of the repairs, sometimes we have no idea how we are even going to start making things right.
The long dark night of the teeth.
And yet the people walking in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2). There is something...Someone...that transcends, that heals the shattered, feeds the hungry, fills the empty.
Anticipating that...is Advent.