Never underestimate the importance of hair – just ask Samson. (Samson’s life is chronicled for us in chapters 13 through 16 in the seventh book of the Bible, the book of Judges.)
Hair was numero uno in a conversation this past winter when I telephoned a friend to ask if I could visit. “I’m sorry, but you can’t come, Pastor Tom. My hair’s a mess, and I’m so sick I can’t even get to a barber.”
"Harpo,” I said, (not his real name) “I won’t even notice your hair; I just wanted to see how you’re doing with the shingles you’ve been fighting.”
“Oh, the shingles never let up. I have been in a lot of pain for some time now, but you know – my hair – I just can’t envision seeing anyone.”
“I was hoping we could have prayer before you go in for the MRI of your thoracic and lumbar spine that you’ve got scheduled.”
“That’s awfully nice of you Pastor Tom. But my hair is so unruly I might have to cancel that. You can pray for me from your home, Pastor Tom, can’t you?”
“I certainly can – do you want me to include your hair in my prayer?”
“Oh, Pastor Tom, it’s not like you to get testy, is it? But I appreciate the thought. My hair doesn’t need prayer as much as it needs obedience school. My urologist thinks I might have a touch of cancer, and the blood clot on my calf has been there four weeks with no sign of letting up.”
“So that’s no prayer for your hair, but prayer for the ‘touch of cancer,’ blood clots, MRI and shingles.”
“You got it Pastor Tom. I’m so thankful for our church, and what a saint my wife is to me through all this.”
Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Lord of my heart; Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me, never to part. (Prayer of St. Patrick)
Full disclosure: while I may have exaggerated how often hair was mentioned in this conversation, there is no exaggeration regarding the health challenges our friend is facing. Please take a moment today to lift up in prayer a friend, foe, neighbor or family member in need of your prayers today.
God Bless You this day.
“Every morning when it’s just us early birds on the streets of Cleveland, I begin my bus route the same way: I close the doors, turn off the lights, and pray. Sometimes my buddies stop and ask, ‘Are you praying in there?’ But they know I am because I’ve been doing it for over twenty years. Then I rev up the engine, turn on the lights, pull out of the garage and away I go ready for the day.
“’Pray for us,’ they tell me, or if it just one of them, ‘Pray for me.’ And I do. I pray for everybody: the regular riders I’ll see and the ones I won’t, pedestrians and police, people in trouble and those staying out of trouble, family, neighbors and enemies too, just like Savior Jesus tells us: love your neighbor and pray for your enemies. I heard someone say once that Jesus teaches us this because neighbor and enemy sometimes are one and the same. I don’t know about that, but I know the Lord wants me to pray for both.
“You see a lot of different people on the bus, each with their own story, not that I get to hear those stories since they’ve got to stay behind the yellow line and all. Still it’s plain to see that the COVID-19 has been hard on lots of folks. We all need prayer these days.”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
God Bless and Be with you today.
United Methodist Pastor, Child of God, Follower of Jesus Christ.