I’m gonna tell you about one of the most HORRIFIC experiences in my seven and a half years of motherhood. Scratch that. In my entire life. No lie. I’m twitching just sitting at this keyboard thinking about it.
The Wednesday before Halloween started off relatively normal. We were running behind getting ready for school. I was fixing Gabi’s hair as quickly, delicately, and yet somewhat stylishly as I could due to the thirty second time constraint. I glanced down at her scalp and spied something about the size of a half a grain of rice. Tiny, nearly clear, brown thing. I put my fingernails around it and pulled it out of her hair setting it down on the bathroom counter top.
And then it crawled.
I parted her hair and saw another. I tried to grab at this one and it ran into her hair farther.
Another part. A little white dot. Another part. A little white dot.
Rush to the computer. Google search- “What do lice look like?” Up pops a picture of the guy you see in front of you. The self same thing I had just pulled out of my daughter’s hair.
THE HORROR. My child had lice. I calmly loaded her into the car, dropped my son off, and slinked into the Kindergarten room. I could not have felt smaller as I whispered my plight to Gabi’s teacher. “Gabi. has. lice. WHAT do I do?”
Questions just flooded me.
“How do I get rid of these thing?” “What are people going to think?” “Do you have to tell her whole class?” “We shower every day. I wash her hair every other day….” “How did this happen?”
Gabi’s teacher is so sweet and asked me if I still had that information on headlice with the coupon for lice shampoo that was sent home the first week of school.
Umm, no. We weren’t going to get lice. HA!
The next hour of that day is absolutely etched in my mind in slow motion. Trip to the small town (read know every soul in the store) pharmacy. Search the aisle for lice shampoo. Found it next to the lice sprays for your bedding and unwashable items. What? You mean this might be in my house??? Try to hide the incriminating evidence until handing it to the cashier who I’m pretty certain thought, “Why don’t you just bathe your children regularly?” Okay, maybe I’m making that up, but that is definitely what I thought she thought. And panic drive home. Start reading the directions and did that really say, comb through her entire head twice today with this tiny comb? Do they have any idea how curly and thick this child’s hair is? Okay, fine. And check anyone who shared a bed with her. Well, that was great. Gabi slept alone. Right?
Something in me just knew I needed to check Lexie Beth, too. First part, first swipe of hair. LICE!
And that’s when I started to itch. And I couldn’t decide if I was itching because of the bug that I just picked out of my daughters’ hair, or because one crawled across the counter in front of me or because I knew deep down that this was going to be a TON of work, or because I might have those things in my hair too.
I called Mike and bless his punkin heart he came home as quickly as he could to help me, because I not only needed to kill the lice that were alive on their heads, I had to pull every single nit out as well. And from what I could tell from google reading, these puppies weren’t just white and obvious, but also itty bitty, nearly unseen pin head size sacs. I’m just gonna fast forward here and tell you I pulled HUNDREDS of tiny clear pin head size nits out of their hair. I took everything I owned to the laundry mat in town, and while I pulled it from the car I called my friend and cried my eyes out. While I was hauling the bedding from every bed in our home inside, I began super itching. I felt wandering on my scalp. Hot shame tears coursed all over my face. By the time I got home I had my Farmboy confirm that which was obvious. I had lice, too.
The spiritual implication here is too good not to make.
You see, just like we were all exposed and infected with lice (somehow-never did figure out how), I became VERY aware that I have been exposed and infected with sin.
I was infected from birth with something much more consequential than little, nasty, scalp feeding bugs. I HAVE A NASTY SIN CAPACITY.
What is sin? Sin is ANYTHING that separates us from God’s righteous standard.
And unfortunately we are born with a bend towards it.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived ” (Psalm 51:5)
“Just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all have sinned…(Romans 5:12)
But sin isn’t just the DNA code I was born with, a little rebellion in me. Sinfulness is also the thousand choices that I make every day that choose my way over God’s way. It is pride and self giving priority to all things ME. It is that nasty party of me that I wage war with every day.
And here it is. Lesson one from the lice.
Upon further inspection, I’m just full of the little nits of sin. I have tiny little bits of self scattered throughout my entire life lingering just under the surface, till it becomes so painfully obvious that others can pick up on the living, breathing, feeding sinful yuck walking across a counter top. And unless the Holy Spirit calls that sin to light it continues to hatch and spread and hatch spread.
Romans 5:20-21 says, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ASHAMED of? Those things result in death!”
I’ve chewed this sin thing over and over again as it relates to the lice, and one of the most consequential whisperings of the Spirit is that sometimes I am desperately unaware of the signs lurking just below the surface….by the time it is obvious, it is often a MAJOR deal.
To be continued……