A few years ago during a worldwide pandemic, our lives changed for quite a while. Most of us probably still have ample supplies of masks, hand sanitizers, and Covid testing kits, and thankfully, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a shortage of toilet paper in stores anymore.
In time, we adapted to new mandates dictating where and when we could go outside our homes to work, school, or church. If anyone sneezed or coughed, we sentenced them to their room to quarantine and have no human contact. Our pets could stay with us, so at least there was that. With the absence of fellow humans in the room, Fluffy and Spot became our confidantes, counselors, TV buddies, footwarmers, sounding boards, meal partners, fashion consultants, heating pads, and blankets.
We learned to cough into our elbows instead of our hands, and six-foot invisible barriers were automatically set up in grocery and teller lines as we dutifully social-distanced from anything with a pulse. All such disciplines were enforced to protect us from a dangerous new virus called coronavirus, or Covid-19.
Personal hygiene ramped up to new levels as we meticulously washed our hands while singing at least two choruses of Happy Birthday. Apparently, that was the magical number of musical measures needed to scrub most harmful pathogens from our hands sufficiently. With the emphasis on frequent handwashing during the pandemic, the CDC recommended 20-second scrubbing to cleanse the hands of bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi.
One thing no one seemed to care about was our hair, or rather, our hairstyles. Barbers and hairstylists had the corner market on well-coiffed hairdos. As for the rest of us, after ten weeks without a hairstylist or barber, we had nothing short of an abandoned bird’s nest on the top of our heads. Who saw THIS part of “stay-at-home” coming? I heard that applying wet teabags would color hair roots. It did not, and I wasted a lot of teabags; plus there was no way to fasten them on my head.
It was time to embrace the hoary head…after all, Proverbs 16:31 says gray hair is a mark of distinction, the award for a God-loyal life. I felt better after reading that. How comfortable ladies were with their neatly arranged hair, or men, their perfectly groomed beards and mustaches, before the new activity restrictions. Then WHAM! The control was taken from us, hairstyling was deemed non-essential by our government, and we were on our way to HAIR APOCALYPSE!
An “apocalypse” is an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale. Our mirrors didn’t lie; that’s precisely what was happening. If you hoarded hair dye over that winter, kudos to you. For those of us who didn’t, humility soared to a new forced marker on our spiritual life path charts.
But there’s something very attractive about humility. God likes it. He gives grace to the humble but resists the proud (James 4:6 NLT), so anything that promotes a less-of-me, more-of-Him attitude is a good thing. And no matter what color or style our hair morphed into, Matthew 10:30 (NLT) assured us, in the words of Jesus, that the very hairs on our heads are all numbered by the One who made us in His image.
That’s an extraordinary statement! Jesus followed it with, “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31). When circumstances are stirred up and make us feel uncomfortable or out of control, the Lord doesn’t miss a thing. He still knows how many hairs are on our heads and whether they are perfectly styled or tangled into a hair apocalypse through no fault of our own. Likewise, He knows when our lives are peacefully ordered and tracking well with Him or when they are headed into an apocalyptic event of chaos, disorder, and unrest.
Perhaps this One-a-Day made you chuckle, but the realization that our Lord is so intimately aware of the details of our lives should bring a deep, abiding sense of security and rest, knowing that He loves us despite our flaws and weaknesses. He takes great delight in us! The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love (Psalm 147:11).
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre
(Special thanks to my sister, Leah Marks, who, when asked for a title suggestion pertinent to the pandemic, suggested “Hair Apocalypse,” for we were all dealing with it to some extent. I took the ball and ran with it! 😊)