I took the day off yesterday. Actually I used a sick day. To top off an incredibly stressful week, something happened to me that had not happened in 25 years. Some of you know this, some of you don't.
In third grade, I received a new bike for my birthday. It was yellow and white and it had a plastic basket with flowers on the front. I really liked that bike. On May 28, 1977, my father's parents were in town visiting. I was showing my grandpa how I could ride my bike and how cool I was popping wheelies. I would come back to him and say, "Did you see that?" And he would tell me no, go try again. So I did.
Unfortunately, one time I didn't come back. My dad asked my sister if she saw me and she said something like, she was lying on the ground. From what we can tell, I popped a wheelie and when the came down, it bounced back up and I lost control. I flipped over the handle bars and one of the handles hit me in the side of the nose, somehow digging in and knocking out a front tooth, root and all. I also landed on my face. I was bleeding from my forehead, my nose, my chin, my mouth, and both knees. I was not a pretty sight to behold. My dad picked me up, and with help from my grandmother, they cleaned me up, all the while I kept asking them "What happened?" I still to this day do not remember the accident. My mother had left for a wedding and my grandfather, the minute he realized I was hurt, took off.
Now those of you who have been in Cincinnati for longer than 20 years know what that date sounds familar. That weekend, was the weekend of the third deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. My story is from the night before it burned. Why I remember that is because my dentist was down at the club the night I knocked my tooth out. It was actually the night before it burned. My dad called him and he did call back and told dad exactly what to do to save the tooth. And it did for a while. I finally had to have a bridge put in twice. Well, after a 25 year smile, it finally loosened up and came out. So I did what I could. I put it back in place and called the dentist. Bless his heart! He offered to meet me on Sunday and put it back in or I could come in on Monday. So, I was a bit stressed about it. I didn't want the bridge to come out or anything.
I took for granted this bridge. It has been there and done it's job for so long that I rarely thought about it not being real. I can honestly say that it was one of the most dependable things in my life. I can also honestly say that the second I realized that it was out, my pride took over. I ran to the bathroom of the school, and put it back in myself. I just stuffed it back up there and hardly anyone knew what had happened. It made me feel ugly and very self conscious. I wasn't want to open my mouth for fear it would fall out or would show the world what the true me, the one behind the fake teeth and smile really looked like.
Isn't that a truth for all of us? We don't want the world to see the ugly side of us. The inside of our brain that thinks those thoughts about others that are unkind and unflattering, all the while making sure we put on that fake smile and show those fake pearly whites. God wants you to show people the real you, but he wants the real you to be beautiful in his creation. Whether you have a crooked smile, large ears or tiny feet, God loves all of you and expects you to love everyone else the same.
1Peter 3:3 - 4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.