Thursday, July 19, 2012


Today's photo: An ode to Orthodontia  - a privilege of the rich  ...  A first world privilege available to us; even in this not-so-first-world. 

All of us typing and reading this are "the rich", are we not?

I remember a Haitian friend from a mountain village marveling that Americans have doctors for their dogs  -  he just kept repeating it over and over again, "Dogs go to the doctor. DOGS!!"  I couldn't defend us. It's true, we're so rich we are able to buy our dogs longer lives.

Here in Haiti, that's not a thing.

As you can see, there is some room for improvement in that ^ there mouth. We're about to embark upon the next round of orthodontic work in our family. Three more children are ready to be assessed and then possibly wired and adjusted depending on what the expert tells us. 

I feel a little bit about this (orthodontics) like my Haitian friend feels about dog doctors.   It is kind of hard to reconcile using real money to make these teeth straight; when all around me people don't have access to sufficient clean water or electricity or basic healthcare that meets the needs of the majority of the population. In fact, many times a year someone tells me about their toothache and that the cost for extracting the tooth is too steep for them to cover. 

straight teeth vs clean water
straight teeth vs access to healthcare
straight teeth vs ability to eat dinner every night

I am glad it makes me uncomfortable. I am glad it feels obnoxious, because it is. I don't want to get to a place where these vast disparities don't bother me. They SHOULD bother me. It NEEDS to bother us that we can easily send our dogs to the doctor and we can straighten our teeth and some of us can even fix our wrinkles and give ourselves a facelift .... Meanwhile all around the world there is a struggle going on that the likes of us and our straight teeth cannot.possibly.comprehend.

We should try to comprehend -
Especially if we claim to follow Jesus.
We need to be uncomfortable with what we see.

Britt and Paige have already been given the gift of straight teeth. My Mom and Dad gave me this gift many moons ago. We value straight teeth in this family, generations have handed down this value.  

My wish today is that in addition to our desire to have straight teeth we also have a desire to be "champions of equality" to whatever degree we have the power and ability to be that.
I believe that followers of Jesus are to be champions of equality, and that it is our calling, as imitators of Christ, to reflect God’s new vision for the world, initiated through Jesus Christ, in which there is no hierarchy or power struggle between slave and free, Jew and Greek, male and female, for all are one in the family of God. -Rachel Held Evans
Here is to straight teeth and total discomfort with the injustice of this world.  Let's all do something generous today for those that cannot fathom spending money on dog doctors or straight teeth.

I want justice to be so pervasive that it will be taken for granted, just as injustice is taken for granted today. 
-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo