Head Lice — The Great Equalizer

Head lice don’t discriminate.

The age old adage “location, location, location” means nothing to them.  They pay little regard to America’s deep housing recession.  Finding prime lice property is not a problem. Buy low. Sell high.  Mere child’s play.

If you breathe, you are a candidate.  If you have blood pumping through your veins, you are a candidate.  If you have hair, you are a candidate.  (I probably just disqualified some of you with that last one.)  Congratulations, oh bald one, you are exempt.  As for the rest of us, we’re all fair game.  You’re scratching your head, even now, aren’t you?!

My husband was to be out-of-town for nine days on business. Well, if you call coordinating an international all-staff Young Life conference full of four thousand of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet, renowned speakers, amazing music, top-notch comedians, and a surprise trip to Sea World where you have the whole park to yourself in Orlando, FL “business” – then, he was to be away on business.

(Honey, I know you worked your hiney off! I’m still just a tad jealous.  Getting over it, I promise.) 🙂

We figured it was still a bit early for both of us to be gone from the new kiddos, so I had planned to stay home.  Of course, I hadn’t entirely given up the idea of joining Scott even for a brief time.  I am a Bradley girl after all.  I figured, if the first part of the week went extremely well, perhaps I could spontaneously buy a last-minute plane ticket and surprise him for the final two days of the conference.  Hey, a girl can dream.  It was Orlando in January after all.

I decided to dedicate a day to prayer and fasting for a number of things, one of which would be this potential decision to travel.  Lord, is it too soon?  Would I be jeopardizing any previous attachment progress by both of us being gone this early into our newly formed family bonding process?

No sooner had my husband hopped the red-eye to FL, than all heck fire broke loose at our house.  I needn’t go into the gory details, but I don’t wish a case of head lice on anyone, let alone all four of my children!  Needless to say, my prayer had been answered.  No trip to Florida for this girl.

Instead, I spent the week doing laundry, vacuuming, shampooing, combing, sleeping on the couch and obsessively looking up alternative lice treatments on the internet, only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again.  Luckily, I was not alone!  My sister and my folks both spent time with me this week, entering into the mess, exposing their very own luscious locks to potential lice infestation.  I am SO thankful for them! Their presence, support and sanity in the midst of a truly insane time was a God-send.  If I would have been by myself, you probably could have found me floating toes up in the Colorado River.

My husband and so many of my favorite friends were having the time of their lives in Orlando.  What silver lining could this unwelcome nit population possibly bring to my bleak world?

Turns out nothing is wasted in God’s economy. Not even  head lice.  Maybe mosquito bites, but not lice.

In one foul swoop, we were all equal.  We weren’t black or white.  Biological or adopted.  Old or young.  Wealthy or poor.  Everyone got the shampoo.  Everyone walked around with listerine in their hair and shower caps on their heads.  Everyone’s hair smelled like rancid Easter eggs as the vinegar worked its magic on those nasty nits.  Everyone camped out on the floor.  And everyone bellied up to the bar for their nightly nit check.

And, you know what?  I survived.  I couldn’t be co-dependent on my husband for parenting support.  I couldn’t second guess every decision, every action, every re-action.  I just had to enter in and move forward.  I learned how to put all four kids to bed by myself.  I learned that I can be nurturer and provider at the same time.  And, I learned that sometimes, God just calls me to be the servant.

I’m a big fan of having my cake and eating it too.  I want to jump head long into God’s amazing adventure for our family, but I also don’t want to lose “what we had.”  In a different time, in a parallel universe I would have gotten to enjoy the fruits of my husband’s labor, basking in the glow of the Florida sun, sipping coffee and catching up with old friends.

News flash.  I am  human and I am selfish.  I too, am a candidate for head lice, just like everybody else.

Frail flesh is the great equalizer.  Where you are born should not dictate whether you live or die.  Where you are born should not determine whether or not you have a family.

The family of God is available to all.  Prime real estate in the journey of life is absolutely free!  Real estate that brings freedom and joy, peace and hope.

If we will only humble ourselves and receive His grace.  God redeems.  God heals.  He re-creates.  He births new identity.  He cleanses our heads and our hearts of all the little parasites that threaten to invade our peace.

His grace can scratch any itch. We needn’t look elsewhere.

However, just for good measure, I won’t be borrowing anyone else’s hat anytime soon!

Now, could you do one last check….


  1. Crissy says:

    Your posts always inspire me! God is weaving His story in all areas of our lives – even the nitty gritty details – no pun intended 🙂 . Love you my friend!


  2. katiebrase says:

    Is it too much to write after each of your posts: “you inspire me”? I can’t help but say it again. And it was my honor, truly, to be with you in the midst of that experience. That’s what we do for each other and I’m so glad I could. Your thoughts are so profound about the great equalizer – so true. Amazing to watch you, too, as the totally competent and loving mother of four.


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