Company’s Coming

By Linda Porter Carlyle

Trevor Paul Monroe stood in the middle of his bedroom and looked around. His room was spotless. His books were lined up in the bookcase. His clothes hung in a happy row in the closet. All his collections and treasures were organized. Whenever company came, they slept in Trevor’s bedroom while Trevor slept in a sleeping bag on the floor in Ben and Brad’s room. Today, company was coming. And Trevor’s bedroom was neat, and clean, and inviting.

Mom hurried down the hall. “Looks good, doesn’t it?” she asked as she stopped at Trevor’s door. “Maybe you can keep it picked up and neat when Dr. Adams leaves.”

“Maybe,” Trevor said doubtfully.

Just then a car door slammed. “He must be here already!” Mom exclaimed. “I’d better comb my hair.”

Trevor tiptoed down the hall to watch Dad open the front door.

“It’s so good to see you again!” Dad exclaimed as he hugged the tall, thin man.

“Come here, Trevor,” Dad said. “I want you to meet Dr. Adams, my old roommate from dental school.”

Trevor shook Dr. Adams’s hand just like he had practiced with Dad. He looked at Dr. Adams curiously. So this is what a missionary looked like. Rumpled shorts. Knobby knees. Sunburned cheeks. Laughing eyes.

Trevor carried Dr. Adams’s suitcase to his bedroom. Then he hurried back to the living room so he wouldn’t miss anything interesting. Dad and Dr. Adams sat on the sofa. Mom was serving icy lemonade. She gave Trevor a glass, too, and he settled himself on the floor near Dad’s feet.

“So you’re just getting back from Mexico again?” Dad asked. “How was it?”

Dr. Adams sipped his drink. “Yes,” he answered. “And I believe it was our very best trip ever.”

“Maybe I’ll go with you next year,” Dad said thoughtfully. “Could you use another dentist?”

“I’d love to take you!” Dr. Adams exclaimed with a smile that crinkled up his whole face. “The people whose teeth we work on are so needy and so grateful. Most of them have never, ever been to a dentist.”

Trevor’s eyes opened wide. He couldn’t imagine anybody never going to the dentist!

“I’m sure you have lots of stories to tell,” Dad said.

“Well, I do,” Dr. Adams answered, raking his fingers through his curly hair. “I’ll tell you my favorite one from this year’s trip.” He paused a moment, remembering.

“A tiny Indian woman sat down in my dental chair,” Dr. Adams began. “And when she opened her mouth, I just sighed. Instead of seeing two rows of normal teeth, it looked like she had one long, solid black tooth on the top and one long, solid black tooth on the bottom.”

“What do you mean?” Trevor asked.

“I’m sure she had never brushed her teeth in her life,” Dr. Adams explained. “She was too poor to own a toothbrush. Minerals had built up between her teeth, finally joining them all together. The buildup had turned black and was as hard as a rock.”

Trevor shivered and ran his tongue over his own teeth. What a horrible thought!

“I was sure that when I cleaned all that gunk off, there would be no good teeth underneath. I figured they would be just stumps or shells of teeth that I would have to pull out. I didn’t really want to have to do that. But I couldn’t leave all that black stuff in her mouth.”

“What did you do?” Trevor asked.

“I started chipping away,” Dr. Adams said. “And I got more and more amazed. Every tooth I cleaned off was healthy! She had a perfect set of teeth under all that hard gunk! Well, except for one of her very front teeth on top which had been broken years ago. And I was even able to fix that.”

“What did she say?” Trevor asked. “What did she say when she saw what you had done?”

Dr. Adams smiled. “She didn’t say anything,” he answered. “She was much too shy to talk to us tall, foreign people towering over her with instruments and mirrors. But afterwards she spoke to Andrea, the nurse who went with us. She told Andrea that she had three small children. Her husband had left her, so she and the children support themselves by making beaded necklaces and bracelets, which they sell to the tourists on the streets in town.”

“It sounds like a very hard life,” Mom murmured.

“It certainly is!” Dr. Adams agreed. “But the woman said that Jesus takes care of her. She said He provides for all her needs. He had even taken care of her teeth.”

Trevor’s eyes lighted up. “Would you come to my Sabbath School class tomorrow?” he asked Dr. Adams. “That’s what we’re studying—about how God takes care of us. You could tell us stories!”

“I’d be glad to go with you!” Dr. Adams replied. He stood up. “Where did you put my suitcase? I even brought pictures!”

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