17 Aug Not just pulling teeth
This weekend over 1,000 people will walk in and out of the doors of the TD Convention Center in Greenville. From dentists, to volunteers, to patients, Dental Access Day is a three day project that will bring together individuals from every walk of life. This, in itself, will make the weekend a truly unique event.
Throughout the day to day of our lives in Greenville, how often do we find ourselves interacting with those different than us? Unintentional though it may be, it’s all too easy to connect and share our lives only with people who are like us. We connect with others over hobbies and shared interests; we know the individuals who keep the same gym schedule as we do and the parents who also have children playing soccer or competing on swim team.
It’s natural. Even as a people of God, we connect because of a shared purpose, a common goal. But what does it look like for us- as the people of God- to unite for the sake of a common need? Volunteers will come together from several local churches and businesses in order to serve at Dental Access Day. As Christ’s Church all across Greenville, this is an opportunity to show the city the unity that comes from being in Christ- a unity that crosses theological or other differences. It’s a unity that Jesus prayed for (John 17).
But what does it look like for us- as the people of God-
to unite for the sake of a common need?
And, as we come together to address a need in our community, we will find ourselves in a unique position. Many- though not all- of the patients who receive care at Dental Access Day face poverty or homelessness; others have just hit hard times, and dental health is the first thing to remove from a tighter budget. Perhaps, as you volunteer over the weekend, you will find yourself interacting with those with which you would not normally cross paths.
While volunteering to greet and guide patients is important, a piece of the weekend would be lost if that is the only thing we do. Rather, we have the chance to connect with people. Each person who walks through the door is an individual made in the image of God. And each of us come with a story. For us, the success of the weekend won’t come just in the number of patients we see, but in the number of stories that are shared.
For us, the success of the weekend won’t come
just in the number of patients we see,
but in the number of stories that are shared.
Much of the time in clinic will be spent waiting. Patients and volunteers will spend time together; you will have a chance to connect. Let’s take this opportunity to share our stories. We can talk to those around us about the struggles and redemption in our lives. And we can ask the same of them. We may be surprised how much we have in common.
As you share your story over this weekend, you also have the chance to share the hope that comes through being in Christ. “These clinics are about sharing stories along with pulling teeth” (Palau).
Followers of Christ- let us give of our time and energy in order to give rest and hope to others; this is hospitality. Let us invite others into our lives. We have been given much. May we give generously in return.