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On the Journey

The Light of Christ

I have had and am having a wonderful career as a registered dental hygienist. My paternal uncle was a dentist and introduced me to the profession when I was a third grader. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and I love people, so I just knew it was a fit for me. After becoming a Christian, I prayed if that was the profession God had for me, He would open those doors. As it became time to apply, there were over 200 applicants for 18 spots at Western Kentucky University where I wanted to attend. I had good grades but I’m sure many other applicants did as well so to get in, it would take the hand of God.

I got into the class, was elected president both years, and graduated as the top clinician. I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was the profession God had for me. When it came time to find a job, I was to be married that summer and needed to practice in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area where we were to make our home. The only problem was there was only one job in the area. I applied and interviewed, as did others. I prayed if that was where God wanted me, He again would have to open that door. I got the job. I would be working with a Christian couple where I would be free to share my faith as God gave me opportunity. Not only do I pray to be the best clinician I can be, I also pray for God to use me.

When I interviewed for the job, the dentist told me he didn’t want our patients to feel like a herd of cattle being herded in and out. He wanted me to get to know them, make them feel valued, and be the best clinician I could be. That was music to my ears because I had made myself a promise that I wouldn’t work for someone who was only in practice to generate income.

Through my career, God has blessed me immensely . . . beyond what I could ask or imagine. Patients who I have seen for years are guardedly asking me my thoughts on retirement. My answer to them is: “Only when God says retire.” After 41 years, I still love what I do and I love my patients. I continue to pray to make a difference.

Last week a mother and her three children, who I’ve treated for several years, were in the office with appointments to see me. They are non-believers so each time I see them, I talk about my faith. I also delve into their lives discussing other things as well. The mom went last. She said her 16-year-old was disappointed that I didn’t ask her if she had a boyfriend this time. The daughter told her mom, “She always asks me and I say no. This time I have a boyfriend and she didn’t even ask.” The mom chuckled and said she asked her daughter how she thought I would respond if our conversation turned to choices that are contradictory to the Bible. The mom said her daughter replied, “Mrs. Linda would say she would pray for me.”

I was so thankful that she knew I would pray for her.

Folks, people want you to care about things in their lives . . . even boyfriends . . . but most of all they want to see your light, the light of Christ. They need to see that your faith is real. Lost people are watching and listening to everything we say and do.

I’ll be the first to admit, I fail many times but sometimes I get it right. So, as long as God continues to use me, I’ll continue to do what He has called me to do—practice dental hygiene. And you can be assured I do pray for my patients. Folks, God will call you to a profession and use you too, if you let Him. Let others see Jesus in you . . . On the Journey.


Written by Linda Cooper