Out of the Mouth

Young woman at the dentist iStock_000022368039Small alvarez

Spend some moments looking at the above image.  What do you notice?  What stands out to you?  Placing yourself in the scene, what would you expect to hear and smell and feel and taste?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a crowd, “‘Listen and understand: It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man'” (Matthew 15:10-11).  Later on, he explains to the disciples, “Don’t you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated?  But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man” (Matt. 15:17-18).

Now contemplate the image above again.  A dentist is only able to repair our teeth, but God is one who is capable of restoring our inmost beings.  With the above in mind, answer the following questions: 

Are you inclined to see God as a cosmic dentist, as one who gleefully uses the spiritual equivalents of drills, retractors, excavators, and chisels in an effort to sanitize the heart?  Or might you begin to see Him as one who offers his very self in an effort to fill the cavities of our heart, remove the infections of sin, and reverse the decay of our souls? 

What, in your inmost being, needs healing?  How might God be inviting you to let Him perform a “cleaning” of the soul?


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