There are many trials of growing older – although, as I see it, the benefits outweigh the distresses. One of the small concerns that isn’t always noticeable because it happens daily for some in very small increments is the thinning of one’s hair. I remember when I was a child that my mother often used her thinning shears on my hair in the process of cutting it. I long for those days of thick (and dark) locks – although I’m not really complaining as I still have a decent head of hair. I am sure though that I am exhibit A for the studies that say women lose at least 50% of their hair as they age. While my brush and my dust cloth are better witnesses than I to this truth, I occasionally lament my loss to my hairdresser.
What does all this have to do with my spiritual life? Well, I suppose there are applications to letting go and surrender – practices that are important to me every day – but the gospel this morning is about something else. Jesus is admonishing his disciples to be confident as they go out to preach because, even in the midst of opposition, God will protect them. He speaks of sparrows – two of them sold for a small coin. Even they, he says, do not escape the notice of God. Then he says, “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” That’s comforting certainly, but the line that he slips in the middle of the bird example is what caught me this morning. Even all the hairs of your head are counted,” he tells them.
So today, especially as I brush my hair, I will think about how much and how often (even when I don’t notice) God thinks of me, cares for me and loves me – probably even to the moon and back!