This week Ray and I are enjoying the blessings of clean teeth. We have been trying to get appointments with our dental hygienist (whom I’ll call Janie) for weeks. Our dentist closed his practice and went into a partnership with another since our last appointment. Janie went with him to the new office. Since we live about forty minutes away, Ray and I like to go together.
Trying to find two appointments together, when we were not on the road at a homeschool convention and when our hygienist was in the office, proved to be a challenge. After numerous phone calls and text messages, we finally had our appointments on Tuesday.
In the interim, the new office staff offered us appointments with another hygienist, but Janie has been cleaning our teeth since 1993, so our answer was, “No, thanks. We’re waiting for Janie.”
I don’t see Janie anywhere except in the dental chair. She was twenty-five years old when she started cleaning our teeth. Now she is forty-five. In these twenty years, I have watched Janie’s children grow up in the pictures in the office. Her oldest graduated from high school this year. I rejoiced as she told me about her daughter’s summer: counseling at church camp, a mission trip to Mexico, a visit in California with Janie’s brother and his family.
As always, Janie asked in earnest about our children and grandchildren.
When I first got into the chair on Tuesday, I apologized about my dirty teeth and explained our scheduling difficulties. Janie thanked me again and again for being loyal. I hadn’t been tempted to switch, but I was glad that I hadn’t. I left the office with clean teeth, with the knowledge that I had done something important to someone else, and with an even deeper affection for my every-six-months friend.
The Google definition of loyal is “giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.” I think it is important to demonstrate loyalty to our children and to teach them to be loyal. “Loyal in little, loyal in much” is good training ground for obeying Jesus’ words in Luke 16:10: “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend.