This week’s writing serves two purposes: the first a Public Service Announcement, the second a reminder to seek comfort in God’s presence all the time!
The so-called “super-lice” has been attacking schools and day cares across the country. Early in August, I began to hear rumors that it had reached our community. I was filled with dread! I had yet to encounter lice myself, so was unsure what to look for or how to cope with it – but I had heard horror stories!
And then it happened: the lice “warning” sign went up at daycare. I have a 4-year-old with long hair – it never seems to stay pulled back. One week after I see the sign, I stood in my bathroom in front of the mirror and spot in my hair a teeny, tiny bug. I drag my daughter upstairs and comb through. I find a bug in her hair. A quick internet search confirms… we have lice.
Begin full-on panic mode!! I frantically clean everything, we do chemical and in-home treatments, we wash, comb, vacuum, repeat; hours upon hours every day for a week. I sat daily with my daughter and a nit comb under a bright lamp. One night I actually cut 5-inches off of her hair in a moment of desperation, hoping to make the process easier! She was cautiously excited about the new haircut until she looked in the mirror – the choppy, uneven cut was met with sobs!
I may have went a little crazy! But those lice were not going to win! So – my PSA: do absolutely whatever you can to avoid getting these evil little bugs in the first place! (The internet has lots of tips.) We are happily lice-free at the moment, but monitoring closely…
Given the vast amount of time and energy devoted to “lice removal” this week, it seemed I just had to write about it. I’ve pondered what the spin would be. Where is my “God moment” in this?
Maybe it was the test of patience… I lost my cool too many times to count! It is exhausting to fight with a tired 4-year-old to just sit still!
Maybe I focus on the importance of human touch… Our family coped with a lack of free time and a fear of closeness. Hugs were rare, and it left me feeling empty.
Or maybe the focus is on perspective… When became overly frustrated, I would force myself to stop and realize that there are far worse things in life to cope with than lice. (A massive hurricane comes to mind…) We can and will defeat a few bugs – not a big deal!
I asked my 8-year-old son – the silent observer in all of this – how to write about God and our lice debacle. He said, quite simply, to say that God is with us. OK… good idea.
Throughout the week, I said countless prayers to God. Sometimes it was a frustrated plea for patience; sometimes a calm status update. (Lots of time for conversation with God when you spend hours combing through hair!) God is with us when we experience joy, God is with us in our deepest hurts, and God is most certainly with us when we cope with little annoyances of life (ie. lice). God wants us to engage with Him, no matter the circumstance!
I read recently from a book which aligns a Psalm with a parable (by Barbara Green – a good read)… “When we ask God for good weather, good luck, good health, tangible assets and justice, what precisely do we expect?” Do we pray with the expectation that we will receive exactly what we ask for? Green suggests that the greatest value of prayer may not be the actual response to our prayer, but the fact that our relationship with God is strengthened.
Constant conversation with God helps us recognize God’s constant presence in our lives (through the good, the bad and in between), and trust in God’s steadfast love! And when we can exist fully in that knowledge, that is where we find real JOY!