My worst nightmare began at 8am Sunday morning. Lice. I became a mother 12 years ago and the one thing I feared most was lice. My friend’s children would get lice and I would pray for their sanity but even more urgently I would pray, “Dear God, please not us!!” Creepy crawly little creatures in my daughter’s hair. Needless to say, the thought of going to church flew out of my mind while I text friends for advice,consulted with Google, started laundry & ran to the store to get an OTC lice treatment. The next three hours were filled with tears, my daughters and mine, as we worked through the process. Hair by hair, we massaged in the solution. Hair by hair, we combed out the excess. Hair by hair, we picked out the nits. Hair by hair, we seal it all in with the hair dryer. Exhausted and shaking from trying to console my beautiful daughter while trying not to hurt her sensitive head, we swore that this was the worst Sunday EVER. Then, I began the process of treating my own hair just in case.
In some ways, this Sunday was the worst Sunday EVER, but as I reflected on my time spent at home instead of in church, I think I learned more this Sunday spent at home with the lice. Now, I love my church & my Sunday school class. I am a minister by profession and so I promote corporate worship whole heartedly. Worship. Community. Spiritual Formation. Fellowship. I would not be a minister if these things were not at the core of my being but God always surprises us if we are ready. This morning, I spent time meditating prior to all the craziness and in my meditation time, I felt a leading to look for where The Spirit is moving. Naturally as a minister, I related this idea to my needing to be more present to The Spirit when I got to church. Nope. I expected to find The Spirit at church but today I found The Spirit in one of the most disgusting jobs I ever had to do.
“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus said. This verse came to mind during the last bit of treating my daughter and then my own hair. Now, I understand better what this means. 1-This takes time and dedication to the process. God loves us so abundantly that God would sit and count every hair. Think hours of conversation one on one. Think tears. Think kind and encouraging words. Think belly laughs as you look in the mirror and see half your hair down and half piled on top of your head with chip clips. 2-This kind of intimacy exposes areas that we are clean and free to be who God created us to be AND it exposes areas that need healing from our own chosen junk, baggage, anger, addictions, fear etc that are feeding off what is supposed to be life-giving like the lice needing to feed off of us. In this intimate setting, God sees it all. Like a loving parent, God celebrates over the areas where we have found freedom and God gently removes the nits and washes them down the drain. God loves this setting because God wants us to come to be loved just as we are…… naked, crying, angry and lice infested.
I might have missed this sweet message as I am sure I often do. I find God’s messages easier to hear when I sit in church ready and prepared to listen, but in everyday life, I am not always so intentional. God always wants to spend this intimate time with me but I have to set my intention to open my mind, my heart and my body to the healing process. Today, I felt in the flow with this God as I sat in the bathroom counting hairs.