It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when GOD returned Zion’s exiles. We laughed, we sang, we couldn’t believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations— “GOD was wonderful to them!” GOD was wonderful to us; we are one happy people. Psalms 126:1 - 3 (TMSG)
My bride, Elizabeth, once (long ago and in a faraway galaxy) held a position as an orthodontist's assistant. When she first trained for the job, she was given instructions on how to operate the controls on the dental chair. Her job would include getting the patient settled in the chair, reclined and comfortable.
Her first patient was a rather large man in his fifties. After the customary talk about weather and family, the man was shown to the "seat of honor". Staring at the control panel, Elizabeth's training somehow seemed to vanish; the instructions looked like an alien language; she decided to "wing it".
The first button she pushed had a promising result as the chair backrest started toward the reclining position. Unfortunately, when the huge fellow was nearly horizontal Elizabeth pressed what she thought was the stop button; it turned out to be the emergency release. The back rest toppled backwards, turning the man upside-down.
Elizabeth is not afraid to correct mistakes; neither is she afraid to do it quickly. Pressing one control after another, the seat carrying her guinea pig jolted upright, forward, and then banked slightly to the left. Another few stabs at the panic buttons, and the chair (with its passenger holding on for dear life) banked and looped like a crop-dusting plane on crack cocaine.
By this time the patient began to exhibit some minor concerns about the turbulent flight, mostly with questions that began with "Are you....whoops....hey, what's.....whoaaaaa......can you stop this....aaaaahhhh".
Now, my bride is a compassionate, caring person, but she does one thing which no human being can properly understand when it happens – when nervous, she giggles! It is uncontrollable, and as predictable as April 15th at the IRS. Once she was told about a death in the family and she had to go into the ladies' room to keep from being misunderstood.
When criticized or embarrassed in any way she smiles in a way that can frustrate her children or husband in ways inventors of "water-boarding" never imagined.
When the "bucking bronco" of an examining chair had finally been subdued, the nervous Mrs. Brownworth was unable to breathe, unbidden tears of laughter pooling at her feet. What seemed like an hour was probably only half a minute, but even at the World Bull-Riding championships the professionals only have to stay on for 8 seconds!
Now, there is one other thing about Elizabeth’s laughter – it is infectious! By the time the chair had gotten tamed, the patient and four other dental assistants were also in stitches.
Somehow the situation eventually calmed down enough for the doctor to do his thing, and Elizabeth did keep her job. It may have only been kindness, or a sense of humor on the patient's part, however.
At the end of the day the receptionist came to Elizabeth and reassured her that all was well; in fact, the man had paid her a compliment. He told the receptionist to tell the doctor to make sure he kept Elizabeth on staff, and maybe consider giving her a raise. He said, That lady sure knows how to show a fella a good time!
Christmas is on the horizon; it’s not all sugar plums and candy canes. The holidays can test your reserve strength and patience.
Remember to smile a lot and enjoy the ride.
Remember….it’s a birthday party!