Wednesday 24 March 2021

Let there be teeth

I cannot smile

I carry with me a deformity that I have accommodated for long, but it is quite concerning still. My upper front teeth that I lost to a childhood prank and for every dental activity performed has left me with some regret at ever considering some remediation, though, something needs to be done.

Blog: Childhood: Defanged by Misadventure

Now, Ian Paisley, later Baron Bannside was a Northern Ireland politician and more notably a firebrand preacher, of the fire and brimstone kind, fundamentalist to the core and extremist was as comfortable for any congregant who felt they needed to be shaken to core about the expectations of the afterlife.

The matter of teeth

In one instance, the preacher railed from the pulpit with fiery vehemence, “Ye are all bound for damnation.” He said, and continued with, “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” We all probably can find all sorts of opportunities to cry and weep, it is a composite of our nature.

However, we cannot all keep our teeth, some are lost to decay and caries, others lost to misadventure or even worse. There are some that have no teeth at all and lo, even in the sphere of faith healing, the lame walk, the blind sees, the mute speak, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, but I cannot recall any instance of a miracle of dental restoration. Surely, that is just as important to wholesome living.

A miracle for hell

There, in a pew sat an old woman who asked what might happen to those who have no teeth, for, and I agree, the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” experience will be incomplete without the teeth, leading some to question the irrefutability of Scripture. To which the Reverend Ian Paisley responded, “Teeth will be provided.” And there we have it, in damnation, we can expect one last miracle, 32 white gnashers horsing around on the red hills of healthy gums, ready to clatter in the wailing abandonment of perdition.

I guess this suggests that even in hell, the human experience will be full, whole, and complete. What a prospect, what a scary prospect, indeed.

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