Fear Not, For He Knows Every Hair on My Head
When I am afraid, I will trust in You (Psalm 56:3).
Though voted “Best Hair” his senior year of high school, Bill began losing his the moment he started college. Thus, he resorted to shaving his head some years later, a look that is quite becoming. After all, how many people have perfect heads?
Still, tenderly, carefully, Bill’s been cutting our sons’ hair for years. Sometimes they’ve wanted a standard “buzz” and other times, something more elaborate. Though it only takes minutes, those are intimate moments, to be sure.
I’ll never forget the first time Bill cut our oldest’s hair. Ian had had only a handful of haircuts prior–the first time quite the fanfare, let me tell you. At a place called “Jelly Beans” in Greenville, South Carolina, imagine with me ticker tape and streamers, balloons and confetti. That’s just about how it went. They even gave me a signed certificate with a sample of the cutting, which, being the sentimental mama that I am, I saved.
The first time his daddy gave him his haircut, it was a much more subdued occasion, culminating in tears before Ian’s anxiety subsided and he managed a smile. Perhaps it was the sound of the clippers his dad used, so unlike the gentle snip, snip, snip of the scissors, to which he’d grown accustomed. Bill encouraged him through the entire process, whispering over and over–
Don’t be afraid. Trust Daddy …
Ian’s hair fell in curls on our patio, and I gathered them up, held them in my hands. So unlike my fine, blond hair, his was course and almost black. I marveled at the miracle of our son, how he’d come to be my child–the wonder never ceasing to amaze me.
Even recently, a mere week ago perhaps, when Ian asked if his dad would cut his hair, I held his curls in my hand and, once again, marveled before throwing it–course as steel wool–to the wind, with hopes that birds might discover the treasure, then utilize it in nest-building of their own.
And Jacob? Like Bill’s done for his brother, he’s given Jake his haircuts too, though our second-born’s desired styles have, many times, been beyond what Bill felt comfortable doing and, thus required a skilled barber. (Bill does know his limits, after all.)
Most recently, Jake sat on a stool on our porch–fireflies and tree frogs offering entertainment–while Bill, wearing a mask, cut his son’s hair in a new style. “Can you do it?” Jacob inquired. “Don’t take too much off the top.” His girlfriend Chloe stood nearby, offering moral support, and his dad said several times–
Trust me. Don’t worry.
Unlike Ian’s, Jacob’s hair is less course, though more so–much darker too–then when he was a toddler, when his hair was fine as feathers, the color of sunshine.
I, of course, stood by taking pictures. So precious was the moment, I marveled, yet again–reminded of Jesus’s promise from Luke’s gospel (12:7):
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Unlike the boys, Bill’s mom, Faith, has often cut Allie’s and my hair, and there’ve been several times we’ve donated it to Wigs for Kids or Locks of Love. With a few careful, yet swift swipes with the scissors, she’s cut ten to twelve inches from ponytails held tight, that the hair might be bagged up and sent, used in the making of wigs for children undergoing cancer treatments or sufferers of alopecia areata.
More than once, I’ve voiced my worry. “Will it be too short?” to which my mother-in-law replies–
It’ll be fine, I promise. Don’t be afraid.
I joke, saying that every strand on my head counts, that my one 12-inch bundle of fine hair is like several strands of Allie’s–so thick is hers compared to my own. But we give the gift, prayerfully hoping each of our donations will serve to help someone in need.
And again, I’m reminded that God says, “Fear not …” and knows each and every hair on our heads. As Matthew’s gospel also promises–
… Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (10:30).
All three of my precious, adopted children–each biologically connected to birth moms and dads whose genetics run through their blood, give them their hair color, skin color, and more–are loved by me, by their daddy. By many.
Mostly, each is loved by God–the One who created them, formed them in their birth mothers’ wombs, said of them long before they were born–
You are wonderfully and fearfully made (adapted from Psalm 139).
Oh, how His heart must break as He witnesses His beautiful boys and girls–all His chosen children–fighting and hating and haughtily ignoring the truth that every one, no matter their gender, ethnicity, or skin color, is loved beyond measure.
Each had a mama that, at least at one point, likely looked into her child’s eyes and smiled, perhaps gathered up his or her hair, too, and cherished it.
Yes, each a priceless treasure.
God loves the protesters, the police officers, the politicians, the pastors, the violators, the victims, the rioters and the ravaged.
God calls each by name. Jesus died for them, and the Holy Spirit is available to every humble, human heart, proclaiming–
Long before there was breath in his lungs, God saw and knew George Floyd. Long before the officer went wayward–became hostile, power-hungry, and hateful–God saw and knew Derek Chauvin. Long before you or I were born to later learn what it felt like to be told we’re better than someone or to feel that we’re less than someone, God saw us, knew us, and called us by name, claimed us equally as His own as He sang over us Love’s adoption song.
Like a mother, He marvels simply at the sight of us. Like a daddy, He tenderly cares for us. But oh…
How can we make it stop?
May we each remember the next time we look in the mirror, see our reflections and the hair upon our heads, that God knows their number. Yes, He cares that much. He loves us that much; thus, His heart must be breaking. He’s weeping now, no doubt.
After all, each of us–every single one of us–is worth so much more than sparrows, though it seems many have forgotten. We’re not supposed to be afraid. “Don’t worry your pretty, little head,” they say.
Still, if honest, I do.
Please, dear Abba–help us forgive like You, love like You, be willing to sacrifice, even die, like You. But for now, help us figure out how to live like You, to see others through Your eyes. Many are battling fear, because, honestly, the world is scary and full of uncertainty. We desperately need You to speak peace over us, and make us instruments of Your peace. Please, oh, please, dear Daddy.