How a Dental Exam Made Me Spiritually Uncomfortable

Today I saw things I didn’t want to see. I made my first trip to the dentist here in Florida, and had an experience that I had never had at my dentist back in Milwaukee. As I sat in the chair, the dental assistant pulled a TV screen down in front of my, placed a wand in my mouth, and one by one showed me each of my teeth, larger than life and in living color.

Not really the way I wanted to start my day.

I saw my kingly crowns. I noticed a couple of old silver cavities. I cringed at the thought of a repaired tooth. I’m just not into seeing every detail of the inside of my mouth.

It’s even more uncomfortable when that little camera called God’s Law scans its way across my life and points out all my flaws:

  • My failure to help others in need
  • My secrets that should never be known
  • My outbursts of unjustified anger
  • My hatred of those I shouldn’t hate
  • My impatience
  • My lack of giving 100%
  • My frustration with things that ought to be considered blessings

I just want to turn my eyes away from that little camera. But sometimes I need to fix my eyes on that screen. I need to see the ugliness of my sin so that I note well the terror of its consequences.

The teeth of the Law have done their job when I begin to feel the jaws chomp down and I do my best to wiggle away.

But I cannot wiggle away. I am trapped. The jaws of death will not let go.

I need rescue and release. And there is only One who can take the camera of the Law off of me, and turn it on Himself. He took the trap upon Himself so that I am free. Baptism makes me clean, washes away all the ugliness of sin, and releases me from the trap of my own awful self.

When the little camera of God’s Law is turned upon Jesus, it scans its way across His life and points out His perfection:

  • Always helping others in need
  • Having no secrets that need hiding
  • Never an outburst of unjustified anger
  • Loving those others would hate
  • Perfect patience
  • Giving all, even to the point of death
  • Being the perfect blessing to the world

Because of Him, I get to see things I should have never seen.

What reminds you of the incredible gift of forgiveness?

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