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The Parable of the Shattered Tooth

    I really enjoy looking out for modern day parables. Jesus spoke in parables - they are simple day to day stories from real life events, but which have the potential to teach us something about God.

    Lately I have been experiencing an ongoing real life parable. It is all about a certain tooth of mine. This tooth grew into my mouth at age six, and when it was formed it was absolutely perfect. It was just what I needed to fulfill all that it was required to do.

    However over the years this tooth began to break down. It gained a little decay, and the dentist just filled it. Then it had a large piece snap off, so a larger filling was required. Time went by and more fillings went into that same tooth, until finally there was hardly any part of my REAL tooth left.

    Recently disaster struck! My tooth just suddenly crumbled to pieces! It shattered into tiny fragments and left a gaping hole in my mouth! Now you need to know that I am fairly nervous when it comes to tooth repairs of any kind, so when my smiling dentist gently broke the news that I would need major work to demolish all that remained of this tooth, and then rebuild a completely new tooth to place over and attach to the root section, I was not very happy!

    However there was nothing for it but to obey my dental expert, make all the necessary appointments, and get going with this work. Firstly all the old remains were carefully drilled away, down to the stump just above the gum, but leaving the healthy root intact.

    The next couple of weeks involved a lot of work for the dentist. He had carefully taken impressions, and from these guidelines, he made for me a completely new, perfect tooth. This was all made from porcelain, and in a shade which exactly matched the rest of my teeth.

    At my next visit the dentist VERY carefully placed the new tooth over the stump of my old shattered one, and adhered it totally securely on to the existing root system. When the anesthetic wore off, I could feel this smooth, wonderful new tooth! It is just fantastic! For the first time in several years I can now chew on that tooth. I had not realized just how useless the old worn tooth had become. It has been restored to be just exactly like my own original tooth that came into my mouth at six years old.

    When I asked my dentist what had caused this tooth to fall apart, he explained that there were two factors. One was that many years ago I had gained decay from eating the wrong foods. But ever since then, the tooth has just been weakened and strained by the stresses of doing its job. It eventually collapsed under the strain and fell apart.

    Now, can you see the parable? God originally made me, and all of us, perfect, and exactly right for the task designed for us. But sometimes we do the wrong thing (like me eating the wrong food), and this damages us, just like the decay in the tooth.

    Then the strains and stresses of life take their toll on us. We become tired and frazzled, or frustrated and angry, or depressed and withdrawn, all as ways of coping from being damaged any more. Eventually, we may crumble all together, or realize that deep down we desperately need help.

    At this point we go the the Expert. We turn over the whole situation into the hands of the One who made us in the first place. Giving God full permission to remake and remould us is a difficult decision sometimes, but it is amazingly rewarding. Because, like the new tooth my dentist made, our Maker will remake us into exactly what we were originally designed for. The worn out, tired useless bits will be routed out, and then a whole new beautiful creation will be formed within us.

    Like my tooth, which now is beautifully restored, our life will be perfectly restored too. Give the broken pieces of our hearts to God. He made our hearts, and he sees how sometimes bad habits, but often too the hardships and pains of our life, have damaged us on the inside. No-one else could see my tooth, but I knew it was causing me trouble. Sometimes we are like that too with issues deep within our souls. Others may not know, yet we know something is wrong, and it is our personal resposibility to become whole. Ignoring problems will never encourage them to go away. Let us all come to God to be rebuilt and perfectly restored today.

    © 2004 Christine M. Jones

    Droplets from Life
    I would love to hear your responses, comments or input in any way. Please contact me at: christinesdroplets@yahoo.com.au

    Christine Jones is married to David. She has two adult children and precious grandchildren. She has worked for many years as a school teacher/librarian, and written children's material for several years in her 'spare time'. She loves nature, music and the theatre.

    John Mark Ministries