Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NASB)
Walking in to Target I was making a bee line for the carts. There were only 2 left and a couple of ladies on my right had the same idea. Getting around with a cane my gait is limited but I still got there first. Channeling my inner Pastor Jeff I was willing to give them the carts and search for another. To my delight they were together. We got our carts and went our way.
Since my knee surgery I have had to rely on friends and family taking me on errands, to doctor appointments, physical therapy and some even take me to lunch and breakfast. Blessings all around as my calendar never has a blank space where the word “driver” is written. That day my friend Crystal not only got me from physical therapy she took me to Macy’s, Target, Starbucks, Rubio’s and Costco (she ran in Costco I stayed in the car). After a day like that coming home and collapsing is in order but it feels good to be out in the real world.
With Target list in hand I headed for the hair color treatments. The gray roots were getting out of control and if I waited any longer my head would resemble Pepe Le Pew the lovable cartoon skunk, with the gray/white line running right down the middle. As I rounded the isle I heard an excited voice say “Miss Terrie”! When I hear myself addressed as Miss Terrie I know it has to be a family from CCLA, the christian school I ran for 13 years. I was absolutely right as a warm hugs were passed all around. The precious couple had their new twins with them so I got to see God’s handiwork times two. My daughter Michele met this mom at the credit union 6 years ago. They struck up a friendship and Michele invited her new friend to come see our school as a possible preschool for her then 2 year old daughter and the rest is history. We all became friends, hearts knit together in Jesus, and stay in touch on Facebook.
Dad looked quizzically at the cane in the cart and inquired if I had been injured from too many wild times being retired. Explaining about my knee surgery they both remembered when I had my other knee done 2 years previous. I told them I was looking for hair color as the gray was showing revealing that under this full head of brown hair was a head full of gray. Dad then replied looking me directly in the eyes, “that just means you are very wise. Gray hair shows wisdom.” That very sincere comment was coming from a man in his late 20’s. It took me aback! Bible verses started floating through my mind like Proverbs 16:31 “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” (NLT) My crown of glory was being disguised by Revlon Medium Brown or whatever Medium Brown was on sale!
Right here I want to digress a minute. Before my surgery I picked up some Medium Brown on the store markdown isle. It was 1.99! Oh my goodness I hit the jackpot, or so I thought. A couple days before my surgery I decided to color my hair. Opening the package and mixing the color it looked funny but surely it would be OK. Feeling a bit leery I just applied it to my part and a few other spots on the top of my head to see what color it would turn out to be. No, I didn’t even think of applying it under my hair at the back like any normal person would do. I had to apply it up front for the world to see! As the color sat there a minute my hair began to turn RED. Not auburn that might have blended in, but I Love Lucy RED! I raced to the sink to wash it out but the damage had been done. I had a red part and a red scalp. No wonder this was in the sale bin. I looked at the expiration date and it had expired a year ago! What? So the next day I ran to the store and picked up the root touch up kit, colored the roots and all was well-ish. That color would not come off of my scalp for a few weeks. Moral of this story read the expiration date!
As my friends and I laughed about hair coloring and said our goodbyes his comment stuck with me. A fleeting thought of going gray passed through my head (did you notice I said “fleeting” and “passed through”?). My sweet little christian Grandma Smith colored her hair until the day she went in to the nursing home. She was a redhead and would remain so if she had anything to say about it! I am not saying there is anything wrong with going gray. My sister has decided to go gray and I say good for her! It’s just not for me right now. That’s OK too.
I really don’t know what any of this has to do with this verse in Jeremiah except that it spoke to me about the gray hair tied to being wise. The prophet Jeremiah warned about boasting in wisdom, might and riches. We are not to boast in these things but to boast that we know the Lord God, understand Him and acknowledge His ways. Gray hair does not automatically make us wise. It just means that we have lived long enough that the pigment in our hair is gone. But in that “living long enough” it infers that we have learned lessons along the way that we can share. It means that we have been down the road of life having stories and experiences to share that will benefit those who come after us. Boasting that we know God sounds prideful but in these verses we have permission from God to do just that! God says He even delights in these things. So today sing a new song of praise that you know Him and His ways whether you have gray hair or not. Praise Him in all of His glory and power and share His love and your experiences with others. He does delight in these things!️