I've heard it said that God has a purpose for all things. Really? So what's up with head lice? You may wonder why this is on my mind. Well, technically it isn't on my mind as much as it is on our hair (and scalp too).
Actually, we've been on the front lines of battling head lice in our family. Youngest daughter came home with them a month ago (right after the first really cold weather when all their coats, hats and scarves come out and get hung up in the communal coat closet at the elementary school she attends). We tried the OTC shampoos which doused her in chemicals and didn't do anything to the lice. We went for the good old olive oil treatment and daily combing for 21 days. It worked and we checked everyone else and washed everything we could in hot, hot water (and into a hot, hot dryer), froze what we couldn't wash in hot and vacuumed everything.
Good to go, right? Nope. Eldest daughter came down with a full blown case yesterday. Of course, as soon as I play the "good parent" and report it to the middle school she attends, they report back to the elementary school the youngest attends ... and the 18 year old "health tech" swears our youngest daughter has nits in her hair! More olive oil, more combing ... only to find our youngest just has a wicked case of dandruff and the tech didn't know what she was looking at. Oy! I'm convinced our oldest caught this from another classmate at her school since her sister was free and clear (of course, they are now both on the 21 day oil and comb regiment). I can't wait to see my water bill this month with all the washing of linens! Ugh. The only really foolproof way to make sure you don't get them is to shave your head and neither of my daughters are going to go for the Vin Diesel look anytime soon.
So what in the world was God thinking when he created head lice? I honestly don't have a clue. Perhaps it was to remind us that we are part of the whole food web in a less dramatic (and less deadly) way than getting eaten by a great white shark or a grizzly bear. Maybe it's a humility thing. Maybe not. Things don't always make sense.
But as frustrating as head lice are, I am thankful that our girls are healthy overall. Even more so, I'm thankful they are here. Not everyone is that fortunate. There was a terrible case of domestic violence in the community near our congregation this weekend. A man killed his estranged wife, his three children, and himself on Thanksgiving in Damascus MD. The wife was a coworker of one of the folks who worships with us on Sundays. It was senseless and heartbreaking. I'm convinced that God does not cause this nor does God want us to live in fear and violence. God does allow us the free will to make decisions, at times with tragic results. I believe God grieves when such violence happens. It still doesn't completely make sense.