Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Muddied, Mushy Mess! Guest Post

A Muddied, Mushy Mess!  Guest Post by daughter Nancy Kehr

Honestly, I don’t know what it is about our society, but a good majority of people just can’t seem to keep their word!

I had been waiting since early morning for the construction crew to arrive. My husband had done minor demolition on the outside of our house, but today was the day that all the old siding and rotten wood were to be removed. – gutted, might more appropriate. Even the windows have to come out! No fun!

Things are askew in nearly every room. Now somewhat bare, my whole office had to be displaced. The computer is in one room, the copier in another, files elsewhere, and so on.

No phone call! No crew by 1pm! Without the window coverings, the room stayed frigid. Of all months for these needed repairs, January! This was supposed to have been started last October and kept getting pushed back because the previous contractors chose not to keep their word. Even the animals’ continual pacing from room to room marked my own edgy, restless feelings.

Why isn’t that phone ringing? In the past week, every time the phone has rung, it has been bad news for my pocketbook!

The next session of my small Dental Assisting School is scheduled to run in just four weeks and the only people calling either want to attend for free, need free dental work, or the worst….are withdrawing from the class!  Without enough sign-ups, I won’t be able to run the class as planned.  Worry nagged at me.

A knock at the door – finally! Only one guy, leaving supplies for tomorrow. I open the garage and he tells me, to move this and that. In heeled, slip-on boots, I was sent scurrying, lifting and pushing things way too bulky and heavy for me. 

Lugging a huge tote out of the garage, I stepped onto the mushy lawn. My shoe sank in the mire. My foot came out of the shoe and I continued moving, falling over! Sore and soaked, I was also a muddied, mushy mess!

I was aware of frustration trying to overtake me. I knew I had to get it in check!! Thank God, prayer came easily and so did peace. Putting things back into perspective is good exercise.

I headed for the bathroom to clean up. The phone rang, so I hobbled to grab it. A small voice asked if she could make an appointment. Here we go again!

Mustering patience, I asked if she was calling about the school or if she was looking for a dentist. She needed a dentist who worked on a sliding scale. I explained about the dental assisting school, and discouragement was evident on her end. Slimy stuff  fell from my clothes. I desperately wanted to get back to what I was doing, but something grabbed at my gut, so I reached for my chair.

Hesitantly, she answered my questions. This young lady had been released from a hospital where she received care for a skin condition that could be fatal if left untreated. Multiple hospitalizations and meds had left her teeth in a weakened condition. They were broken and decayed; one was badly abscessed. She had no job, no money, and no dental insurance. Children screeched in the background while she explained that she was not complaining but was willing to step up and do her part. That’s why the call.

Ideas for a letter campaign to her local dentists flooded my thoughts. She loved them! Then there’s Craigslist. We put together info for an ad. We talked about Barter. Other ideas came up. Her voice started to tremor. She thanked me over and over for taking time with her.

A pause, a deep breath and then she confided in me a little more about her disorder. Did she say she was only 27?  Stunned for a moment, I realize that I have lived more than twice as long as she is old. She may not make it to twice her age!

I studied my muddy feet as I listened; aching muscles and joints started to scream. My thoughts drifted. A few of my own teeth have compromised crowns, and expensive issues that won’t be covered by insurance. And now? I don’t have a new student prospect either!

Smacked by a good dose of humiliation, I snapped out of my self-preoccupation!  Of course, I couldn’t fix all her problems, but I DO know her name, and……..she was sent to ME!

The One who can get in the middle of Carly’s situation is a good friend of mine! After all, we just talked about my attitude and problems earlier, and He gave me his full attention and assured me that He had it all under control.

I listened for a break. She ended with, “I’ll keep trying and guess I’ll have to trust God to take care of me”. Well….lots of people say that. I don’t know if she really believed her own words or not, but I took it as my que!

God was waiting for me to keep His Word! I told her to bow her head and close her eyes for just a minute. All was quiet. Sudden warmth engulfed me and power-filled words streamed forth as I prayed over her body and situation. If asked to do it, I couldn’t begin to reconstruct that moment or say the same words if I tried! The energy that swirled around my cold, little office was there – for both of us! God has lots of coping methods for this life.

What a vivid reminder of just what a muddied-out MESS we all are without our Creator.

My life rarely goes along as I expect or even hope, but I can tap into a steady stream of strength and rest - anytime!

Carly’s tear-filled voice was stronger as we parted our phone encounter. I promised to look into possible free-clinics and to keep her in my prayers. Nothing had changed with my own circumstances, but my outlook did. God promised to never leave me or forsake me.

By the way, I can do no less. I will keep my word to Carly.

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