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Holey Holiness

March 28, 2008

I had the good fortune of going to the dentist this morning at 8 a.m. Not the most enjoyable thing to do first thing in the morning – especially since I always get a lecture about my Dr. Pepper habit.

The dental hygienist usually ribs me about my tongue-piercing too.
She’s a sweet, clean-cut Christian lady and well, to be honest I think she disapproves. I don’t think she knows why she disapproves, but she thinks/says it’s because tongue-piercings are bad for your teeth.

However, I’ve had mine for almost a decade now and it hasn’t hurt my choppers one bit. She always threatens me that it probably will eventually screw up my teeth and she says things like, “Well, we’ll keep an eye on it,” when she can’t find any evidence in my mouth that tongue piercing are dangerous. It’s like she’s hoping something will go wrong so that she can justify telling me to take it out.

Well, this morning, after yet another check-up with no sign of the barbell having done a bit of damage she asked (in a rather frustrated tone I might add), “why did you get your tongue pierced anyway?” I’m sure she expected me to say something like, “because they’re cool,” or something equally flip because she looked really surprised and confused when I said, “sort of for religious reasons.”

Well, I gave her a bit more of an explination and after I told her the whole story I got the feeling that she won’t try to urge me to take my tongue-piercing out next time I see her.
Anyway, after the dentist, as I was getting into my car I realized that I haven’t told anyone why I got a hole put in my tongue for years. So, since part of the reason I got it was to remind me to tell my stories, I figured I should share the story with more people than just my dental hygienist.

Nine years ago I was working at the Firehouse Brewing Company as a waitress/hostess. At the time I was trying to raise enough money to go back to college. It was around October and I was reading James during my daily Bible study. Now I’m kind of a mouthy girl and James convicted me about that.

I’ve found myself saying things I should have kept to myself pretty frequently. But for some reason I didn’t always speak up when it was important. Plus, I kind of used to have a problem with lying. Yeah James was kicking my mouth and my but all over the place.

About the same time I was hostessing about once a week. I usually worked with this cool high school kid (I’ll call him Josh) who was sort of disillusioned about God and church and life in general. I mostly listened to what he had to say and didn’t tell him much – even though I had some hopeful things to tell him. See, I didn’t want him to decide to quit talking to me because I tried to tell him about God.

But one day I realized he was sort of searching. I got the feeling he really did want to know what I thought. But, for some reason I was still scared and I didn’t say anything. That night when I went home I was really regretting my omission until I realized that I would be working with Josh again in a week. I could just tell him everything then.

All week I looked forward to giving my buddy Josh some hope. But Josh never came to work again. I found out during the shift we should have been sharing that Josh had killed himself that afternoon. Obviously I was crushed. And I felt so guilty for not telling him…well anything. Sure, he might have decided to never talk to me again – and he might have killed himself anyway. But what if me telling him that God loved him would have kept him from pulling that trigger.

So a week later I had my tongue pierced to remind me to listen when the things I want to say aren’t that important and not to wait to tell people things that are vitally important.

And now through the magic of the Internet you can all tell me how silly and or cheesy you think my tongue piercing is. Isn’t technology wonderful?

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