I had my six-month dental cleaning appointment this morning and am quite sure that my dental hygienist drank at least six cups of coffee before I arrived.  She was hyper and chatty!!!!  While I was reclined “comfortably” in the chair as she scraped away six months of yuck from teeth, she was updating me on all the things in her life.

She got new flooring but is not happy with it.  The cold front has left, but there is a new one coming through.  She is planning a trip to the beach with her friend.  Her daughter is doing fine and thinks it might be time to get a dog. 

In the midst of all the updates, she paused.  “You really need to floss”, she stated.  My first instinct was to deny the lack of flossing accusation, but instead, I just nodded my head in approval.  She suddenly switched from her life updates to describing a new study that has linked the bacteria in between our teeth to heart disease.  Not only was she concerned with my teeth, but she was also concerned with my heart.  

She made a statement that has stuck with me all day.  “It turns out that the mouth is connected to the heart.”  I had heard this statement in church before, but never at the dentist office. I kept repeating that sentence in my mind and God nudged me with a small, simple thought….

While I reclined “comfortably” in the chair, she wasn’t just saying “words.”  She was sharing her heart.  The things that were important to her.  Her daughter. Her home. A much-needed vacation.  Her life!!

We hear (or read) a lot of words all day long.  Today, I was challenged by God to actually listen to them. Listen to the people speaking around me.  And especially the people speaking to me.  Maybe, just maybe God will use our listening ear to minister to someone who has something to say that really needs to be heard.

“It turns out that the mouth is connected to the heart.”

Written by Pastor Mark Bedwell