Moments like this are why the word "excruciating" was invented.
In any case, I spent the weekend coping with intermittent waves of intense pain shooting up from the base of my tooth into the top of my skull. Especially when I accidentally touched the tooth with anything cold or hot. I took extra-strength Tylenol and it barely seemed to make a difference. This was Not Good. So Not Good, in fact, that I decided I would call the dentist again on Monday morning and see if they could take me for a root canal.
Then on Sunday night, Simon had a hard time going to sleep, and finally took it into his little head that he would climb out of the crib on his own. The THUD when he hit the floor shook the whole house. While he cried stormily, we checked him over to make sure nothing was broken or otherwise injured; then at last we put him down again, and he finally fell asleep -- but he woke up three times during the night crying. I was ready to put the fussiness down to the teeth he may or may not be cutting at the moment, but this morning it became clear that he actually has done something to one of his legs, because it's hot to the touch, a little swollen, and he doesn't want to put any weight on it. He doesn't fuss at all when I lay him down and rotate his ankle, knee or hip, but if I try to get him to stand, he just cries.
So, today I had a dentist's appointment at 10:45 a.m. (at which they scheduled me for the root canal this Wednesday, with cheering pronouncements of "We'll need an hour and a half," "Get a good night's sleep beforehand," and "Don't come in on an empty stomach"), and now Simon has a doctor's appointment at 3 p.m. I worry that he might have a greenstick fracture, which would mean a cast, and... oh, argh. I really hope not.
We were supposed to be going to a friend's funeral today, but with the doctor's appointment, we won't make it. And my parents won't be home until Wednesday afternoon, so I have to figure out who's going to look after the kids while I have my root canal... sigh.
Does God still love me? Or Simon? Or Edith Ellam, my dear sister in Christ whose funeral I can't attend today? I have no doubt of it. But ever since the Fall, we have been living in a sin-twisted world where teeth get damaged, children get hurt, and people die. One day creation's "groaning" will be eased, and there will be "a new heaven and a new earth" where there is neither pain nor death; but before that happens, judgment must come first, and God in His mercy is "patient... not wanting anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance." I can't argue with that forbearance on God's part, not if I claim to have any love whatsoever for my fellow man.
So the question for me as a Christian right now is not, "Why does a loving God let bad things happen?" but rather, "How does a loving and merciful God plan to overrule in this bad situation to bring good out of it?" And the answer to the latter is: I don't know yet. But I know that somehow, He will. Because He's gracious like that.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28, NIV)