It was an "unusual" dentist's visit today. I slid into my normal spot in the chair and was greeted by a new face, not the normal young lady who does my cleaning. Immediately, the lady noticed my black (and blue and yellow) eye from the fall last weekend. She chirped, "Said the wrong thing to your wife, huh?" I gave the obligatory chuckle although I was quick to assure her that it was a ladder that had done me in, not my wife.
Her next question was, "So what do you do?" I told her about pastoring, planting Ridgeview and what a cool church we had. She nodded her head and turned her attention back to my eye.
"You need to make up a good lie to cover this up. Maybe you could tell people you got into a bar fight." I wrinkled my nose and faced her as best I could. She was preparing different pieces of machinery for the semi-annual infliction of oral pain. Why in the world would a pastor lie and then tell his people he got into a bar fight?
It got better. "Or you could tell them your wife caught you with your girlfriend." I stopped her. "You did hear me say I am a pastor, right?" She ignored me.
So, the conversation turned to religion. "Did you go to seminary?" she asked. "Yes," I replied. "Sure did."
"I've got a question," she commented.
Uh-oh. Here we go.
"Do you guys study other religions to see how they are similar and different and what the good and bad parts are?"
I knew where this was headed so I moved in fairly quickly. "Yes. Yes, we do. We talk about other religions and some good things they teach. We talk about how every religion has a little bit of truth to it, just enough to reel people in and lead them away from real truth. You see," I continued, anticipating where this was going, "all religions aren't the same and they can't all be right. There is an absolute truth and only the ones who adhere to absolute truth can get it right. The others are just deceptions followed by well-intentioned people."
I was satisfied with my answer and my perception of where she was going with her line of questioning. She ignored me.
The next thing I know, she was talking about Madonna's religion, John Travolta's son, Patrick Swayze's pancreatic cancer and what a good man her dad was. In the end, I got my teeth cleaned and a new headache to go with the one I've had since Saturday. What she got from it, I may never know. But at least I had the chance to talk a little about faith with someone who is looking for some answers. I just pray she caught a little of what God was trying to teach her today.