gel toothpaste. it don’t work.

“That’s gel toothpaste. It don’t work,” she said matter of factly.  I looked at the tube of toothpaste I was holding, a brand I didn’t recognize, and I told her I would go look for another type in the closet full of toiletries that can be shared with the homeless women who make their way to the church every Sunday evening for a meal, a shower, and a place to sleep.

I returned with Kid’s Crest, of which she took gladly because that “gel toothpaste is awful.” I told her she should take the kid toothbrush also because the toothbrush I found was less than desireable. I held it out to assure her I wasn’t holding out on her, and she again said, “Eww, that’s a gel toothbrush, too. It don’t work either.”

I looked at her with sincerety and curiousity—-“ I didn’t know this was a gel toothbrush or that was gel toothpaste. I’ve never used it.”

She looked at me like I was not so smart and smirked as she exclaimed, “Well, you hadn’t been there, so how would you know?!?!”

In the next three seconds it all hit me; any confusion I had was cleared right up as I realized she wasn’t saying “gel toothpaste” or “gel toothbrush.” She was saying JAIL toothpaste and JAIL toothbrush!

Aahhhhhh. Indeed, she was correct. I have, thankfully, never been in jail and never had to use their toothpaste or toothbrush. 

It was a funny moment, but also a bit sobering. By the grace of God, I haven’t spent any time in jail. By the grace of God, I won’t spend any time in jail in my future. Sometimes someone who has walked a rocky road sheds light on my smooth road. May I always take note—-not that I am better than them or have worked harder than them or am smarter than them, but that the grace of God has marked my life in ways that drastically made my path smooth. Not easy, but smooth. And I am grateful.

Moral of the story? Stay out of jail. Their toothpaste is terrible.

One thought on “gel toothpaste. it don’t work.

  1. Really enjoyed this. When we had Wednesday night meals with our guests from Room at the Inn a homeless ministry, interacting with some of them was saddening and also very enlightening just like your story. Sorry to say we no longer do Wednesday night meals as in the person in charge of that was not fond of staying late on Wednesday when her time stopped at 5. She is no longer on staff. I pray who ever takes her position will reinstate this practice.

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