Friday, October 27, 2006

Open Wide

We have had a busy week. We hosted a huge meeting at our church on Tuesday, served lunch to college students and kids on Wednesday and I topped it off with a root canal on Thursday. I don’t know if you have ever had a root canal, but take it from me, we throw that phrase “I’d rather get a root canal” around way too generously. Mine was on my top front tooth; you know where there is only bone and no gums. The dentist put one shot in the front, just above the tooth and then another on the roof of my mouth behind the tooth. Here is the funny thing. As I arched my back and tore off the chair arms, he said “I want you to try to relax.” Try to relax? I try to relax when my Sooners are getting beat by the horns. I try to relax when I go up to the pulpit, knowing that my audience is expecting me to hit it out of the park and knowing that I don’t usually. I even try to relax when the line at McDonald’s is taking forever. But when I am in a dentist chair receiving a shot in my less than thinned gums, I TRY to hold on for dear life. I TRY not to punch the nurse out cold. I TRY not to …well you get the point (believe me, no pun intended).

I am over it now. But I wish Dentists and Doctors spoke my language more. When they are about to say “try to relax" or "this is going to pinch a little," why don’t they say instead, “this is going to make you scream like a little girl.” I mean, haven’t they ever had a shot? Or do they get those exclusions in medical school? Wait a second, I know they don’t. I should know because my wife used to be a nurse. Still, when they say things like that, I imagine them all gathered around laughing with a whole of bunch of pills that would do the same trick spilling out of their hands, saying to each other “now we can’t let the public know about these.”

It makes me realize how important it is to speak the language of the lost. Unbelievers don’t understand a lot of church language. Sometimes, I think some believers don’t understand it either. I am not saying they can’t ever learn it. But it is necessary to live in the world and yet not be of it. It is necessary not to exclude our realm of influence from those who have never placed their faith in Jesus for their eternity. If we only know and live around Christians, then we are simply sprinkling salt on salt. As a pastor, this is my most difficult task.


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