I got word today that our son is missing permanent teeth. What I hoped would be just your standard dental cleaning left me with news that left me heavy hearted. What do you mean he is missing teeth? What about the spaces where his baby teeth came out? So he has to live for the next eight years with spaces? So many thoughts ran through my mind. Implants? Future surgery? What exactly does this mean? I tried not to allow all of it to get to me, but it did.
And so did our son. Greatly internalizing the news he said to me, “I just wanted to be a normal guy… Get married.” He was so worried that he wouldn’t be able to get a wife with no teeth or with false teeth. I had to reassure him this was nothing to be concerned about- even though inside I was pondering the same type of concerns. Will he be made fun of? Will he not be liked?
I had to stop myself- remind myself that it is just teeth. Just part of the outside shell of the boy who I love so dearly. Just a shell…
And as I scrolled through posts today I saw a post asking for prayer for the family of a 4 year-old girl that died today after a hard battle with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor.
I thought of how one visit brought home news so much worse than mine. I thought about the many questions her parents must have had. The realization of dreams that would never come true. She would never again be normal. Never be married.
This beautiful little girl… Oh if you see the changes her “shell” went through it will break your heart. Hair lost, scars left, swelling throughout her entire body so badly she was not recognizable as the same little girl from only two years earlier. There were pictures of her mother holding her, kissing her, and that never changed no matter what her outer “shell” looked like. Those who loved her could see her past her shell. We are so much more than our shells.
A four year-old girl has retuned to her Maker.
And our ten year-old boy- is still here.
I thank God tonight for the gift of another day filled with glimpses of our son’s smile. I pray for God’s presence to fill the hearts of this little girl’s family in their time of loss.
Our time here is so short. May we see past our shells and love deeper with the time we have while we are here.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-17 (NIV)
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”