Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Gift of Grace

Husk's Bacon Cheeseburger is
10% bacon, 100% delicious.
So we’re winding down the month of June, and it’s been a month of troubles and trials, treats and triumph! Just like the whole of our lives. I turned 50, saw Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and also a taping of A Prairie Home Companion, went to Wilmington and Charleston – where we ate at Husk, Bon Apetit's "best new restaurant in America," worked my tail off laying out FOUR books – along with my other work, saw my son perform in his first comedy show, enjoyed a couple of outdoor concerts of jammin’ local music (Dexter Romweber and the New Romans, and Phatlynx – if you’re interested,) and spent a GREAT deal of time ... nitpicking. Literally.

Yes, that’s right. We got lice. Ewww, right? Before you judge us, all the web sites rush to assure readers that contracting lice does not mean you are unclean or low class. It just means that you came in contact with someone who had lice. We are reasonably sure that Bill got them on the trip to Charleston, where he and Tom spent the night on a World War II aircraft carrier with a gazillion other cub scouts and their dads. 

Dexter Romweber and the New Romans
Bill deeply dislikes the inconvenience of being taken to the doctor, so he neglected to tell us about his itchy scalp, and was even sort of furtive about scratching it. But... he managed to pass them to me, being an affectionate, huggy child who loves his mommy. Nice. So then, after a sleepless, itchy night, I visited my doctor where I was diagnosed with.... headlice. 

Grace, who was collecting Bill from VBS, rushed him home, where we proceeded to NIX the hell out of both our heads... then Grace, bless her heart, painstakingly picked every nit from our itchy scratchy heads. No mean feat, since Bill’s hair is thick as molasses and mine is ... WAS down to my waist. I mean, those damn nits stick like glue, don’t they? We ended up cutting about six inches off my hair, much to Tom and Bill’s dismay. I’m kind of bummed to see it go, too, truth be told, but it’s also kind of a relief. 

Pretty sure the pestilence came
from the ship-board cots..
And every day since, Grace has picked through every hair on my head, while I looked through every hair on Bill’s head, and I have prayed without ceasing that God would bless her richly for such devoted service to such a lowly cause. All this trouble has given me the following thoughts:

1. Plagues. In the Old Testament, God sometimes sent swarms of flies or frogs or bloody water or... death... to plague people who needed to be taught a lesson. Was there a lesson for us? Or did we just have headlice because it’s one of those things that can happen to kids?

Grace is full of love, a gift from God.
2. Love. Grace was truly a picture of the love of God during all this. She took our linens to the laudromat, helped me comb out my hair – often twice a day... She could have contracted the little buggers from us, but she was there with us every step of the way. Now she, like God, can enumerate the hairs on my head. What a blessing to know that such a remarkable friend is in my corner. Friends are a great gift from God, and when He sent me Grace, He did not scrimp.

She is as good as her name, that girl is. Full of love and mercy. I’ve had people from all aspects of my life tell me how lucky I am to have a friend like her, and I concur. Of course, I’ve also had people assume we’re gay. But, I guess in this day and age, you’ll have that. So when Tom and I got married and she was there helping us with the wedding and all, the whole time... I wonder what they thought?!

I don’t know where I’m going with this... just Grace is a great friend, and, like the grace of God itself, a completely undeserved gift.

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