The voice on the other end of the line was soft and whimpering. It was late Thursday evening in my office, normally I would have allowed the call to go to voice mail, but this time I found myself drawn to respond to this call. The woman said that her pain was becoming unbearable, and that she needed help quickly or she might go crazy. She admitted having dental needs, but delayed seeing a dentist for years managing her discomfort with common pain medication. She believed that the daily increase of her pain was caused by someone who had power over her body with intentions to deliberately humiliate her. “My god is punishing me.” she said in a shaky and nearly inaudible voice.
“Rita” (not her real name to protect her identity) was an international student pursuing a doctoral degree in economics. She was advised by the International Students Office (ISO) at her school to call Ambassador International Ministries for assistance, as she had no dental insurance and no money to get professional help.
I asked Rita to tell me something more about her god. She named a certain guru and the obligations he required to avoid his displeasure and his discipline. Her long hours of study, allowed her little time for religious activities. Unintended violations of required rituals had resulted in her distress. If her dental needs were addressed professionally, her guru and her god could not use that area of her vulnerability to punish her. She seemed trapped by her culture and religion.
What an opportunity to introduce Rita to my God!
I let Rita know that in my experience most dentists were not in their office on Fridays, and that there was no guarantee of a quick response, but I believed that God wanted her to call AIM because He truly cared for her.
Rita gave me permission to pray with her in the name of my God. I prayed for this woman in pain, “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” I shared with Rita God’s love for all mankind was shown by giving His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. And as Christian, I belong to His son, so I can pray with the assurance that He hears my prayers on her behalf. Her “thank you sir” following our prayer was clear and seemed genuine.
Within hours, a dentist and friend, called Rita with a prescription for her pain and an appointment to be his first patient on the following Monday morning. He did extensive work to resolve her dental needs.
I know Rita is thankful for the kindness extended to her and hearing about my God, the one with the “Big G”.
Dr. Paul Taylor, D. Min.