“There is poo in your hair.”
This has been one of my favorite sentences over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, this is not a joke and equally unfortunate is that we have had to say it several times to both our boys. Most recently, I even had to say it to Olivia.
In French the word for lice is “les poux” (pronounced “poo”). In the last week of school before vacation, our boys came home and had “les poux in their hair”. This was our first experience of lice, we honestly had no idea what we were up against. At first, we didn’t notice it, then we saw the head scratching. On closer inspection we noticed one or two lice. So, we bought the shampoo. We washed and combed as was required and then set about washing EVERYTHING in the house. Toys were sealed up and packed away. We were going to beat this thing.
Not so easy. On the next inspection, they were still there. Defying the multiple washes, the lice didn’t go. We would check the boy’s hair and once again say, “Oh, no, there is still poo in your hair”.
Next came the hair clippers and off went their hair. Then we went the Aaron route as we soaked their heads in olive oil, covered with shower caps and waited. We eventually got them all. The school vacation came and went. No lice, life was good.
It only took one day back at school for the lice to arrive again. Round two.
It is funny how something so small and seemingly insignificant can upset the apple cart. On close inspection you almost can’t see a louse. The problem is that one louse doesn’t stay one louse for long.
Lately we have been thinking a lot about what it looks like to bear fruit as disciples. What do Jesus’ words “remain in me” mean? This story with the lice hit us the same day that we found out that our trip to South Africa would not be possible. There were also several other distractions on the fringe that all together served up a package of disappointment and frustration. I sadly admit that we had our moments when we cried out, “why is this happening to us?”
Scripture talks about “catching the little foxes before they destroy the vine”. The little sins that creep in and can be so destructive. One louse or sin doesn’t seem so bad. The problem is that it never stays that way. How easy it can be in difficult circumstances to allow what we face to steal our joy. Over the last month this is what we have been wrestling with. How to catch the little foxes. To catch the louse before it becomes an infestation. The lies, the traps, the disappointments that so easily fester. All designed by an enemy who wants to steal your joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Remain in the vine and you will bear much fruit. Catch the foxes before they spoil the vine. We don’t want circumstances to determine or steal our joy, instead let us have joy in all circumstances.
This is the lesson we are learning, the truth we are understanding and the prayer we are praying. Joy in all circumstances.
I hope that next time I tell you I have poo in my hair, I can do so with a smile.
1. When I became we
2. Step on to the water
3. This little light of mine
4. Luc, I am your father
5. A light to our path
6. Next to a stranger
7. Empty cupboards and croissants
8. Musings after the monument
9. Baby steps
10. Through the window
12. Crossing the road
13. Who am I?
14. Sticks and stones
15. Lost and Found
16. A Fixed Point
17. Les Poux
18. Pain au chocolat
19. Notre Dame
20. The temple to all the gods
21. The Palace
22. Dead Emperor, living King