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Helga the Dental Hygienist


One of the great distressing moments in my life is visiting the dentist... which happened this past Thursday. Receiving the dreaded message on Wednesday reminding me, “It’s that time again” instantly brought the sweat on my brow. The only comfort I had was my dental hygienist was very gentle...


Then I discovered she no longer worked there! And had been replaced by Helga, the WWII Army Hygienist who brought her own hammer and chisel. Well maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I knew I was in for the dental treatment of my life when she yelled down the hallway with her rough military voice, “Hey somebody! There’s no water in here for my sprayer!” Yeah... that actually happened...


Turning on the water added to the torture experience because, for some reason she couldn’t take her finger off the trigger in time to protect my face, hair, neck and shirt from getting sprayed! It dawned on me, “I’m being water boarded!” She had a towel... which was soaking wet, to wipe off the over spray... probably soaked from her previous victim. About 10 seconds into the treatment, she blurted out, “Well! It‘s quite obvious you never floss!” Good observation Helga...


Next... out came the various instruments of torture. I asked her about the gentle water pic my previous hygienist used to remove plaque. “Never learned how to use that new fangled stuff. I’ve done this for over 40 years and I like the old tools I’m used to.“ I’ll bet they hadn’t been sharpened in over 40 years either....


The 45 minute torture treatment over, she yells down the hallway again, “Hey somebody, I can’t get the dang polisher to spin!” After that, everything is a blur because of the blood loss. I vaguely remember telling the dentist to remind me, the next time I come in, to bring a pint of blood with me for a transfusion. Plaque removed, teeth cleaned, polished and both ears hurting from the nerve endings in my jaw being jack hammered, I rushed back home to the waiting arms of my loving wife as she quietly spoke into my ear, “Well! You need to brush longer and floss! And put thieves oil on your gums.“


One of Satan’s tactics, as we go through life, is to bring people into our lives to build up plaque on our hearts... either by offending us... or hurting us... inciting fear, anger, resentment or pride... basically getting us to take our eyes off of God and his plan for our lives and onto the situation we are facing. When this happens, what do we do? We allow our focus to fall on the person who offended us, or hurt us, and we want to lash back. We start letting the plaque of offense build up on our heart. We don't release the offense, we hold onto it... more plaque. We don't take it to God, we talk about it to our friends and family... and the plaque builds and builds.


We need to remember, the person is not the enemy. Satan is the enemy and he’s just using an offensive or hurtful situation to get us walking in fear instead of faith... in offense instead of love... in the flesh instead of in the spirit. When this happens, don’t wait until the buildup of offense and fear is hard to chisel off. You’re only going to hurt yourself in the end. Instead take an offensive stand against the real enemy, Satan, and tell him to get lost. He knows he’s already been beaten at the cross, so if you resist him with his offense, his hurt, fear, anger, resentment and pride, he will turn tail and run.


Floss daily with the Word and prayer. “ Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. ”, as we’re told in Proverbs 4:23. Turn those offenses... those hurts... into opportunities to let Christ use you to reveal His love to someone who desperately needs to know they are loved. Stand firm in your faith! Resist the devil and he will flee from you!

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