Lice. Little critters that enjoy scurrying around on the human head and laying eggs for more little critters to thrive. They make humans slightly mad with vacuuming, laundry, hair brushing, itching, checking and more checking. When I think of living my best life now, YOLOing, or Living, Laughing and Loving, it doesn’t involve lice in my house. BUT, however they came to visit whether it was from a positive experience like a summer camp full of boys or they joined the fun of my daughter’s long hair, that’s part of this tiny window of our little life and compared to the heartache in other pockets of our community, this is a cakewalk.
When we first detected the lice and had our first overhaul of the house and treated everyone’s head, we sat down to dinner and said our nightly prayer as a family. One of the benefits of prayer is that it has the potential to remind us of a bigger perspective on life. I had a situation from one of my favorite books pop into my mind that connected to this annoyance. In The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, a true story of two sisters who ended up in a concentration camp after protecting Jews during the Holocaust, the older sister, Betsie, gives thanks to God for the fleas that had infiltrated their living quarters. Corrie is quite taken aback to hear it because she’s likely feeling quite the opposite of grateful. Betsie goes on to explain that because of the fleas, the guards patrolling the living quarters had avoided the area and that allowed for tender fellowship, Bible reading, and singing among the other ladies. What a perspective!
A friend I have on Instagram is adventuring across the country in an adorable camper with her picture-perfect family. You should see the stunning sights and beautiful pictures! However, her most recent caption gave a behind-the-lens play-by-play of the crappy, real-life obstacles they have overcome over the last couple of weeks! Throw a little dose of lice in their cute camper and that would have been the icing on the cake! It was such a great reminder of this same message: It might not be just how we’d like it to be in this short (or long) season of our life, but we can focus on even the tiniest bit of good that we can find. Many times there is an abundance of good to see right on the surface, but other times we may have to take our hand to manually lift our chin and look up to find something for which we can find thanks. Like lice? We agreed that lice allows us to be mindful of many homes where lice or bedbugs may be a very common occurrence and not as easy to eradicate. It’s given me appreciation for simple things that have made it easier to clean and for the “quality time” where the one getting their head checked and hair brushed got to pick the TV show!
There are times when this message to find the good does seem nearly impossible to me depending on my mental health struggles at the time, but I still type it today to help remind myself and you. I think the ability to filter the challenges of life can vary depending on personality type. Not to say everyone can’t be thankful, but I assume it’s easier for some more than others.
There is a woman from my church that just lost her battle to a rare cancer and although I didn’t know her well, the stories I have heard and the beautiful obituary written about her life were astounding. She was a giver; one who consistently put others before herself. I imagine that in general, gratefulness came easily to her, but battling cancer must have been an overwhelmingly difficult circumstance in which to find the good. From what I hear though, she looked for and found a peace among that raging river of sorrow. What an amazing example.
I am not naturally a glass half-full kind of person and may have a tad more selfishness built in than others. I am doubtful that we can fully change that type of personality characteristic, but oh, how I would like to try! I crave the idea of making the people I’m with feel special and really serving others. I think this starts with our perspectives on our life circumstances. Circling on back to my friends the lice, little by little, we can move towards a more humble and grateful attitude which may in turn move our eyes to others’ life circumstances in an aim to serve them. Little by little. Itch by itch.