>> March 25, 2010
It was the day before church, and I had way too much to do to get ready. As a typical pastor’s wife, I had placed too many things on my plate for the weekend. I had to finish cleaning and cooking for the company we were having after church, prepare for the children’s class I taught weekly, plan the children’s sermon I was supposed to give, review the books of Esther and Ruth with my boys for Bible Bowl that night, and get ready for the scout meeting I was in charge of as well as a training session I was giving. And of course, I had waited until the last minute to do most of it! As I passed by my middle son, Adam, on my way to vacuum the downstairs I did a double take. The poor child was brushing his hair out of his face so he could eat his lunch without eating his own hair. He desperately needed a haircut. All three boys did actually. The problem is, it costs $45, which we didn’t have, to take them to the barber, and we had another week until payday.
I sighed. I knew this day would come, and I had put it off far too long: the day when I would have to cut their hair rather than taking them to a professional. Prior to this time, my husband would take all three in together to an old fashioned barber shop. But we just couldn’t afford it anymore. I cringed at the thought. There is a reason barbers and beauticians go to school and get paid for what they do. Cutting hair is a messy, time consuming, stressful job. My boys are old enough to care how their hair looks, and old enough to blame me if it turns out bad. Plus, I tend to be a perfectionist, and I keep cutting until it looks right. Which usually means I cut way too much off, and the end result is something of a buzz cut.
So I gathered the supplies, my boys, and my courage. My husband set me up on the back porch with a stool, laid out the various sizes of clipper attachments, and wrapped an old sheet around Adam, the bravest, and most in need of a cut. I prayed, took a deep breath, and went to work. The sound of the vibrating machine in my hand put me in a zone, and I imagined myself as an artist, perfecting a work of art.
Three boys and a lot of hair later, I could finally let out the breath I had apparently been holding. We promised the boys they could play with the hose (while they washed the vehicles) in order to rinse off all the loose hairs from their necks, ears, shoulders and it seems every other part of their bodies. I proceeded to sweep up the porch floor. It was a windy day, so a lot of the hair had already blown away. I thought about all the birds that might use it to soften their nests. However, I still swept up four dustpans full!. It was a strange mixture of brown, blonde and red (each child has a different hair color), and it had to number in the gazillions!
I was suddenly struck with a Bible text: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
WHOA!!! As much hair as I just gathered, I was dumbfounded by the thought that God knew exactly how many there were, as well as how many remained on my children’s heads at that very moment. He cares for them that much. He cares for all of us that much. He knows us that well. Nothing happens to us outside of His will. Sure, we may make choices that go against Him, but He still uses those choices to make His glory known. As big as God is, and as much responsibility as he carries, He still is concerned enough for each little sparrow!
What a comforting thought that was for me on that day. Rather than stressing about how itchy I was, and how much I still had to do, I instead grabbed a Ziploc bag and dumped some hair into it. I called my boys to my side and explained the substance of my epiphany. The face on my 5 year old was especially precious as he tried to fathom it. He said, “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God how many hairs I have!” As I cuddled with my children, and shared God’s love with them, I felt a sweet peace flood over me. I thought of all the things I needed to do yet, and I gave them to God. He would help me accomplish what needed to be accomplished. Hey, I realized, at least I had my children’s story now!
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