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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Sparkly and White
Date Posted: March 24, 2007

It was "T" week in Kindergarten and we talked about everything from tornadoes and transportation to tomatoes and teeth. Since our letter person, Ms. T, has "tall teeth", we used her as a springboard to talk about dental health.

Our first project was a tooth fairy book which showed us how to brush and floss and what to do with those baby teeth when they fall out. Then we read books about animal teeth. Finally, we conducted an experiment to find out how different beverages affect our teeth. We filled cups with water, milk, soda and grape juice. Then we dropped half an eggshell into each cup. The soda and the grape juice began to discolor the eggshells after just a few minutes. The kids thought it was really cool. Wait 'til they see what those shells look like at the end of next week! We're going to chart what the eggshells look like each day as a reminder to brush our teeth regularly so they don't end up looking like the purple or brown eggshells!

I'm constantly reminding my kids to brush their teeth after they drink soda and eat cheese puffs. I know if that orange stuff masquerading as cheese stays on my fingers for two days, it's not coming off their teeth by itself! But they're kids and they have more important things to think about than orange teeth - like iwhether they're missing a favorite TV show or still have time to ride their bikes before it gets dark. (Hey! Maybe if I get the Mythbusters to show what orange cheese puffs do to your teeth I could get my 10-year-old to listen. After all, Adam and Jamie are so much smarter than Mom!)

How much time and effort is put into cleaning the residue off the collective teeth of our nation? And how much time and effort is put into cleaning the residue from our spiritual lives?

When I think of the resentment, lies (as little and white as they may be), envy, pretense and denial that build up in my soul in the course of a week, I need a super-whitening cleansing agent to scrub it off, never mind make it sparkle. Blessedly, I have that Super-whitening Agent: Jesus Christ.

David writes in Psalm 51:7, ". . . wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." He was pleading for God's forgiveness and cleansing, but we often speak (or sing) of Jesus cleansing us and making us whiter than snow - so pure that there is nothing whiter. Even though this analogy is usually paired with repentance and baptism, it works in daily life as well. When I don't seek forgiveness and guidance from the Lord for all those "little" things I do wrong, the residue begins to color my thinking, my perspective and even the way others view me. I no longer sparkle and shine for Jesus.

From now on, every time I brush my teeth to remove the residue of daily living, I will try to seek the Lord and cleanse the inside as well. That way I can sparkle from the inside out.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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