Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Gospel According to My Hair Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Baby’s Wisdom

“And they said to Him, Do You hear what these are saying? And Jesus replied to them, Yes; have you never read, Out of the mouths of Children and infants You have made (provided) perfect praise?” Matthew 21:16 Amplified Version

“Mommy don’t cry, it’ll be alwight… Lord give me a praying spirit, Lord help me to say yes, yeeeeeess, yes Lord. A praying spirit throughout the day…”

One night on an iced over road, in a black Monte Carlo, a few days after Christmas, an 18 month-old sang the words to “A Praying Spirit” by Twinkie Clark to her young mother, who was sure they would be stranded there for the night. With no cell phone at our disposal in winter of 1980, and a car that just wouldn’t turn over, there was nothing left to do but cry? But as the story has been told to me, I reached over and wiped my mothers tears, letting her know it’ll be alwight. She then tried to start the car one last time, and it started.

I don’t remember that special time my mother and I sat in that car cold and alone, waiting for God to show up, but it has been recited to me many times by her. To remind me constantly of the gift I was to her and the gift God had given to me through music. I often picture myself with a little ponytail, cocked to the side, and my mom with her caramel skin, in her multi-colored green scarf and long pea coat. That moment was not about me. It was about being a vessel of Christ, whether I knew it or not. It was about letting my fearful mother know that we were not alone, and through a spirit filled with prayer and submission, anything is possible. Even igniting a stubborn Monte Carlo to say, “Yes, yes Lord”.

That green scarf would bring me wisdom much later in life. I loved it so much when my mother would wear it, and on the occasion she would allow me to wear it. I often wonder if that scarf is the reason why my favorite color is green. When people would ask me what my favorite color was I would say, “GREEN! Because it is the color of trees, the color of money, and there is no rainbow without it!” The last time my mom allowed me to wear her green scarf was on my senior field trip to Kentucky Kingdom. I wore a ponytail that day too. I wrapped the scarf around it several times to create a perfect ball. I even wore a multi-colored striped green shirt to match it. Of course, no wrapped ponytail of mine was prepared for a devitrifying roller coaster. I held on to my head as much as I could. When I got off the ride, I immediately noticed my scarf was gone. My friends seemed to care less. I couldn’t convince the operator of the ride to stop everything and look for my scarf. I was terribly sad for the remainder of the trip. When I got back to school, I rushed to the pay phone to call my mother, by this point in tears. She said, “Hello?” I replied, “Mommy!” She didn’t know what had happened. She told me to calm down and tell her what was wrong. I tearfully confessed, “I lost your scarf! Mommy it’s just gone! It fell off on a ride. I’m so sorry.” And in such a sweet and congenial voice she whispered, “Oh, it’s okay baby, we’ll just buy another one.”

And so that scarf had taught us yet another lesson and propelled us into another stage of life. That night and that roller coaster are just like so many times in our lives, when we can’t see straight for the fears that are in front of us. Just like I drifted into my mothers life to profess a praying spirit, assuring the Lord would get us home, so she professed that the same grace that allowed us to share that beautiful piece of cloth, would allow us to buy a new one just like it. Who knows but what God brings us through our children. Who know but what God has brought us through our hair.

The Gospel Lesson of a Small Child
Matthew 18:2-5

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is he greatest in kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

The Prayer of a Parent
Dear God,

Thank you for my children. I praise you for all they are capable of. For their imagination and innocence. For their freedom of education and to worship you. For their other parent and all they give to enrich our child’s (children’s lives) life. Praise you for choosing me to be a parent.

Please forgive me for not always being a good parent. For not listening when I should and talking when I should. For neglecting any spiritual or physical needs I had control over. For not being always a good example in word, deed, or conduct.

I ask for you hand to always be with them. That they learn the gifts you have deposited in them. That they be obedient and trustworthy people of your word. That you be their classrooms, jobs, with their friends and loved ones. That you would protect them and teach them always. This is my earnest prayer.

In the Name of Jesus’, Amen.