Weekday Christian

and singing dentist

‘Am I a weekday Christian?’ As I am writing this I can only think of don’ts. I don’t go to church in the week unless you count Friday night choir practice. I don’t read the bible every day. I don’t have a prayer routine. I don’t go out and try to spread the word of Jesus. I hear of so many people who do so much. I do nothing obviously Christian at all. One must ask 'Am I a weekday Christian?' The fact that I am doing nothing that could be labelled as a Christian activity just getting on with my weekly life does not stop me being a Christian. I think I am a Christian all the time because I believe all the time. I believe God is with us, all around, supporting, watching and caring for us all. There are in everyone’s lives times of difficulty, when your faith is questioned but you are not alone, God is with you. Being a Christian is important to me; it gives our every day life structure. We care for each other, we care how we live our lives, we live together in our community, church, school and work. Every day is important to make a difference to those around us.

I was listening to a reading recently in church. Saying something like “God gives you gifts and you should use the gifts you have been given”. God’s gifts can range from a simple smile and how are you, which all of us can offer, to the talent of a concert pianist. Only a few people have this and not me. God gives gifts. I have some intelligence and worked hard using this intelligence to gain a good education and training with the support of my family. I use that education and training to do my day job, and also within my family life.

My day job. A community Dentist, I work with patients who have special needs. What is a special need? This is difficult to define. Anything that stops access to a general dental practitioner for routine care. Some examples would be severe learning disability, medically compromised, anxiophobic patients, and the very young. So what can I offer? My education and experience. Working as a team with well-trained and caring dental nurses we will listen, educate, try to develop trust and offer dental treatment with tender loving care: routinely, or with sedation or under general anaesthetic. I try to remain up to date, the buzzword is continuing postgraduate education. I attend courses (recently a course on adult abuse). I have yearly advanced life support training as I work in theatres with General Anaesthetics and sedation. I read my journals, surf the medical dental nets and am at present doing long distance learning with the Open University heading towards a degree in life sciences to go with my BDS, and a certificate in health and social care.

The rest of the day job. My family. I am an alarm clock, cook, cleaner, stay up late trying to sort out this or that, act as a taxi service, help with homework when asked, have been known to contact my brother in America when in dire need of mathematical assistance. So simple when you know how. That particular occasion was working out the equation for the number of slabs needed to go round a rectangular lawn, forgot the corners!!!! Just be there to listen and probably moan a bit. Have you done this? Have you got that? Offer some guidelines and stability, share in achievements as well as coping with the failures. Also I hope some Christian values.

One gift I haven’t mentioned yet is music. This is something shared with my family and with the church as a member of the choir. Apparently at work when not talking or listening I can be found humming. A singing dentist.

It is an honour to use and to share Gods gifts be they music or education. So am I a weekday Christian? I hope so.

Dr Susan Baker BDS, Cert HSC(Open)

© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 10th January 2004