I went to the dentist yesterday. I was past due for a cleaning, and I changed dentists this time, due to my last dentist selling his practice, and my general dislike for his replacement. Seriously, I went from year upon year of healthy checkups, to a laundry list of (expensive) problems that needed “immediate attention,” all in six months. That leaves a person a little suspicious, just in case you were wondering.

As I was in this new dentist’s office, I had just submitted my new patient paperwork, and settled into my seat to wait. A young Hispanic woman walked in with her two children, a girl about 4 years old, and a boy around a year. She sat the baby by the toys, and the little girl lingered near the door.

It’s important to know, at this point in the story, that this dentist is located in a very popular strip center, with a big new TJMaxx on one side and a bussling Cici’s Pizza on the other. The parking lot is always full and cars are in continuous movement.

I smiled at the little boy, who was flirting with me in that adorable toddler way, and his movements and personality were so like Brody’s that it made me really miss him in that moment. I heard Spanish being fluently spoken at the office window, and looked up to find the kids’ mom speaking through an interpreter to the office manager. Looking back to the baby, I realized he’d walked over to his sister, and in that moment, she opened the door and he walked right on out as she shut the door behind him. Panicky, I called to the woman, but she didn’t speak English and didn’t even realize I was talking to her. I looked back to see the baby toddle right into the parking lot and into the traffic lane. I flew out of my chair and to the door, nearly knocking the little girl over, and scooped him up just as a car rounded the corner.

I walked in, and only then did the mom look up. Seeing me, a strange woman, standing there holding her baby, she looked understandably confused. Fortunately, the hygienist had come to call me back just in time to see me pick the little boy up. She told the interpreter, who told the mom, and she calmly looked back at me and said, “Oh. Gracias.”

Then she turned around WITHOUT TAKING HER BABY.


I looked at the hygienist, who was as stunned as I, then took the little cherub over to the toys, plopped him down, and tapped the mom on the shoulder to show her where he was.

I thought about it the entire time my teeth were being cleaned. It was easy for me to jump in and save that little guy from harm. He was helpless and I was the only one who saw what was happening. But, you know, I see people all the time heading for disaster, and I’m not just talking literal death. I see people all around me who are hell-bent on spiritual destruction. Do I turn my back on them, hoping someone else drops everything to help, or do I fly out of my chair with the same urgency to help save them from just as certain a death?

No. At least, I shouldn’t.

I need to remember that every life is a life worth saving.

Every life…even that other dentist who lied to me, because, you know what? I had a perfect checkup and am good for another six months.

Now to pray that the darling little boy is, too!


Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.” Mark 16:15 MSG

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him…God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” Romans 1:16-17 MSG

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15 ESV