The “Smashed Bananas” Perspective

Sometimes in life, even though you know better, you hunker down for a long… slow… sulk; because, darn it, well… you DESERVE to!  After all – who would blame you, right?  The circumstances (insert your own set of whatevers here) just call for a little down time, and no one would blame you for feeling down at all.  True enough.  I’ll nod along with you.  I have to, because that’s just what I did today.  But God?  He had other plans besides that slow sulk.  He usually does.

Today I went to the dentist for some repair work.  I have been doing battle with my genetics since I was a teen when I received some damage to my enamel from braces I had.  It was no one’s fault; my teeth were just sensitive to the glue used and I then began cavities everywhere there had been glue.  Jump ahead to this month, I am sporting a mouth full of root canals, caps, fillings, and a very large 6-tooth-bridge that spans the width of my smile.  The bridge is as wide as my smile is.  This is not the type of thing they (dentists) prefer to do.  It’s a large bridge and a LOT of teeth.  Since it is my entire front smile, it was not possible to break it up into smaller sections that were more stable.  It would be obvious.  The thinking was to save as many real teeth as we could, and I didn’t want to wake up without teeth in my 30’s and have to instead “put them in,”  yet, so that’s what we did 5 years ago.  We essentially bought me a shinny new smile.  smile_teeth[1]

Jumping to today, I have a wiggly bridge (no bridge is sposed to be wiggly, but most especially not one that involves teeth). The post that anchored the right side has broken and needs repaired.  It sounds very simple till it’s explained with a serious expression upon the face of my dentist.  Drilling through the bridge = a large risk of damage or breakage of the bridge.  Remove it to fix the problem and re-glue it = risk of breaking it in half.  The later seemed more of a better shot than the first.  Grudgingly I agreed to give it a whirl.  We (meaning the good doc)  tried to take it out, but it wouldn’t budge.  Not cool.  We now wait to see if we can loosen it more naturally with a few weeks of wait-and-see-time and hope for the best.  If not, we wait longer and then try to fix it and cross our fingers, toes, (and eyes if you can).  If it breaks, however?  I am out a bridge (aka TEETH) and have no back up set.  No way to purchase a new set.  It feels like a huge deal.  Like the end of the world.  In my head I know it’s not, though I am fully sulking anyway.  I want teeth, and for more reasons than just eating.  I leave in a sour mood knowing lots more smashed bananas are in my future.  I’m told no hard food till it’s fixed.  I am soooo done with smashed food!
Sulking, I stop by the little grocery on the corner on my way home.  My head is down and I’m mumbling to myself.  I get to the checkout with my milk, bread, and yes, more bananas, and I’m wearing that “Poor Me” shirt proudly for all to see.  An older gentleman is in front of me and lays out his weeks worth of meager groceries.  I can tell that’s what it is just by looking.  All I think is that it’s nice I wont have to wait long to check out.  That’s all until his food stamp card is declined not once, not twice, but three times.

By the third time God was already screaming at me so loud I was deafened.  He was clearly embarrassed and ashamed and he took the items, offering in broken english to go put them away for the cashier.  She waved him off saying no, she would do it.  She was shy and also clearly embarrassed for him.  I quickly stepped up to her and asked her to add his bill to my waiting items before he could move away too far.  While I had been mumbling about eating smashed bananas, this man couldn’t even BUY bananas.  How selfish was I?  Nothing like a reality check to humble you and bring a bit of perspective.  I tried to make the man understand that I wanted him to have his food.  He was sure he wasn’t understanding my english well enough.  He waved me off.  I assured him I meant it.  His look of shock was enough to make a lump form in my throat.  While I wasn’t sure how God planned to cover the extra $39.47 I had not planned to spend so far from payday, I was sure I knew he needed it far more than I did at that moment.  But If God had his bill covered long before he walked into buy his groceries, I knew He also had my means covered to provide it.  One thing you can always be sure of is that God ALWAYS has a plan, and it is ALWAYS PERFECT and on time.  Rarely early, never late, but ALWAYS perfect for the moment.

In the midst of my long, slow, sulk God showed me that I had a lot to be grateful for.


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