The Gospel According to Head Lice

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The Gospel According to Head Lice

Our family go through the same ritual nearly every week without fail. I’m sure we’re not alone. In fact, I know we’re not. I grew with this ritual.

Families at my kids’ school also go through it. I bet every parent has done this at some stage. And if they haven’t, they are probably the reason I go through it.

A monster is unleashed when a bunch of kids come together, and school is the perfect place for it to grow. It’s a little monster but it breeds and spreads.

Head lice are a problem in our family. Is it any wonder with 3 kids in school and another in pre-school? Sure enough, someone is bringing it home and sharing it with everyone in the family.

I think head lice want to take over the world. If left alone the head lice from my kids’ head would jump to me, then someone else and someone else, eventually finding their way to the Prime Minister.

Spiritual head lice

Head Lice, Sin and the Gospel

It’s not unlike sin. I don’t find it difficult to sin. And sin left alone starts to grow.

I had my appendix taken out when I was in high school. I took a couple of weeks off to get better. A girl from school asked where I’d been, so I told her I had been shot.

This began a series of lies answering her questions. I told her about the hold-up at the service station and trying to ‘be the hero’, the ambulance ride, and showed her the patched up wound.

The story went well until she spoke to my dad the next day. It went downhill from there.

Sin grows. One lie becomes two. And sin always affects others. It spreads to others and causes hurt and pain.

So, what should you when the dreaded head lice strike?

The cleaning treatment is one of those rituals we go through as a family. I’m not sure how you do it but this is what we do.

Each child comes into the loungeroom, sits down and watches whatever they want on tv while their hair is cleaned. Brothers and sisters can be there but whoever’s hair is being done gets to choose what’s on.

There is a stigma about having head lice. Shame is one of the emotions. Head lice are a problem you hide.

But shame doesn’t play a part in what we do. The lice are still the problem. We provide a place where our kids can get rid of the lice where there is no condemnation.

What if our response to sin was the same?

Our response to sin tends to be shame. We hide it. Sin disrupts our relationships with others. It creates inner tension.

And sin causes us to create distance between us and God. We know there is a problem and avoid seeking God. Sin causes us to feel ashamed and we rely on ourselves to make it right.

What if we remove the shame?

I don’t mean that we should celebrate sin. Sin is still the problem. But what if there was no condemnation for sin?

That’s what Jesus has done us! He has taken our sin on the Cross. We don’t need to spend days hiding from God. We can go to him straight away, and because of Jesus, he will accept us.

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