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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 137: The hairs on my head

Today's Reading: Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64

"For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me."
Psalm 40:12

As a child, I was fascinated by the saying of Jesus where he asserted that God knew how many hairs were on my head. I would ponder how much attention God was giving to the details of my life while my mother combed and brushed my hair, leaving strands in the grooming tools; or when the hair dresser would cut my hair leaving strands on the floor. I imagined an angel with a pencil and tablet assigned to add and subtract, minute by minute, this obscure detail of my life and it made me feel special and attended to by God in a personal way.

When I lost all my hair with chemotherapy, I imagined the huge table of subtraction going on as clumps of hair fell to the ground in one day. In that sobering moment, I was reminded that God was watching over me, even on that day of sorrow, and I was not to worry.

After doing a little research, I found these numbers: blondes have about 140,000 strands of hair; brown - 110,000 strands; black - 108,000 strands; and redheads - 90,000.

But here's the kicker: this morning as I read God's word, David used the strands on his head as a metaphor for the number of sins he had committed. Now, if you have been reading God's word closely, you know David's family had a genetic tendency toward thick hair! David says, "sometimes my sin is so thick, I can't see."

I'm reminded that as a teenager I wanted my hair to hang over my eyes to create some sort of mystique! My Dad would hand me a head band and say, "Get your hair out of your eyes; I want to see your pretty face."

I'm wondering, what if Jesus was citing this passage from the Psalms when he was talking about the hairs on my head being numbered.

I wonder if Jesus was saying to me, "Little sister, God sees the sparrow fall and God sees when you fall; and God keeps track."

It is true. I'm sure my sin is as numerous if not more numerous than the number of hairs on my head.

And I'm sure it is true that God does keep track of all my wanderings from his righteous path.

But I am glad that it is my merciful and righteous brother, Jesus, who put this truth together for me this morning, because he tells me not to worry. He speaks of my value to my heavenly Father.

And as I get older, my hair is thinning.

Perhaps that is a good sign...

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