My husband, Steve, graduated from dental school in 1981. For the next two years, I was his only employee: his dental hygienist, dental assistant, receptionist, insurance clerk. On the days that I was not helping him, I worked for another dentist in town. I was so exhausted most of the time that our joke became, “Sharon works six days a week and cries on the seventh.”
One thing that amazed me, in starting a new practice, was all the emergency phone calls that Steve received on nights and weekends. I usually answered the phone, and I asked the caller several questions, one of which was, “Mrs. Jones, how long have you been having this problem?” Invariably, the patient would say, “three days,” “two weeks,” “a month.” I always thought, “So why did you wait until Saturday to call?” Of course, being the sweet person that I am, I never said that.
One night the phone rang at about 2:00 a.m. I groggily picked up the phone and managed a weak, “Hello.”
“Hello,” the woman on the other end stated. “My son is having a terrible toothache. Is the doctor in?”
Now, where did she think he would be other than “in” at 2:00 in the morning?
“Yes ma’am, he is,” I responded. “How long has this tooth been bothering your son?"
“Oh, I’d say for about two weeks,” she answered.
So why did you wait until now to call . . . (thought, not said, of course). I spoke with this mother for a few more minutes, and then something started niggling at me. Something just didn’t feel quite right. “Ma’am, and how old is your son?”
“27,” she answered. “My son is 27 years old.”
I was so shocked that I quickly sat up in the bed, accidentally jerking the phone cord out of the wall, and disconnecting the caller. She did not call back.
I had envisioned a distraught mother with a crying five-year-old. But 27? Oh my.
I lay back down, complaining and grumbling. “Lord, why is it that people won’t go to the doctor regularly but only want help on demand when they have an emergency?”
When I got quiet enough to listen, I heard God’s still small voice whisper — “Now you know how I feel.”
Do you tend to pray more often when you have an emergency?
If you are a parent, how would you feel if your child only talked to you when he or she had an emergency?
If you haven’t talked to Him today, how about taking a moment and telling your Heavenly Father just how much you love Him.