Thursday, February 16, 2006

February 16, 2006 - Chia Taz

People I know have been pretty good about the bald jokes... until today.

This morning, as I make my way across the street for the weekly church staff meeting, I find waiting for me... a Chia pet.

It’s the Tazmanian Devil (the Warner Brothers cartoon character). He has, er, a bit more hair than I do these days.

More than that, various friends, colleagues and acquaintances have contributed inspirational thoughts to go with my new Chia Taz. Here are a few selections...

Scott, a ministerial colleague, has done some digging into obscure biblical texts:

Exodus 20:4-6 NSRV (New Scott Revised Version)
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. Even though you may have crafted them from the clay of the earth; though you may have sown seeds in them with anticipation; though they may have grown life-like hair (yea, but for a punk-rocker with hair of green); though you may come to worship them for the miracle of the growth; indeed, they are still only a Chia Pet. You, however, are my child, and I love you more than you can know. Trust in me and I will be with you always.”

Dan, another ministerial colleague, writes:

“Hair today, gone tomorrow.”

Doug, pastor of a nearby church, cites this oddly appropriate scripture passage:

“...we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies; but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed....” (2 Cor 4:6ff , TEV)

Wendy, one of our church's elders, got busy with her concordance, and likewise found this text:

“...or as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (Isaiah 61:11)

Steve, another pastor colleague, contributed this, er, exegesis:

“When I was in college I worked with a fellow camp counselor at a beach camp in Hawaii. After every week’s camp session, we threw one of the counselors into a certain spot in the ocean. But my fellow counselor, Kendall, always eluded attempts to throw him in. On the last day of camp I encouraged the camp kids to pretend that something strange was in the ocean and to call Kendall over to see it. When he got there, I quickly dunked him. A short moment later we saw his hair floating on top of the water. His hand was in a far away place, reaching from under the surface searching for his floating hair. When he emerged from the water we all saw that he was completely bald, except for a few thin strands. The children all cheered and laughed. They called him a ‘bald head.’ They cheered me as their hero. I felt horrible. I had no idea he was wearing a hair piece.

I say all this to set up this passage of scripture:

‘From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.’ (2 Kings 2:23-24)

No bears appeared by the Hawaiian beach, years ago... But this verse can certainly give cause for pause to anyone who might not be inclined to show the utmost respectful to a bald one, especially the prophet among us.”

Lynn, another elder, provided these words of comfort:

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants, nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

From John and Ginny:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in it's branches." (Matthew 13:31)

(Sure hope the new crop doesn’t attract the birds!!!!! )

"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he trims clean so that it will be more fruitful."
(John 15:1)

(Can’t wait to see ‘the fruit’ that will come from the new crop!”)

From Chris:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10.29-10.31)

From Lorna:

“O Jerusalem, cut off your hair, the symbol of your dedication , and throw it away; raise up a lament on the high bare places.” (Jeremiah 7:29)

(Losing hair can be a symbol of dedication so that's a good thing, isn't it?)”

There were many other words of wisdom as well. This is just a representative sampling.

Thanks (I think) to Robin and Diane (both of whom I suspect had a major role in this escapade), to Chris (who procured Chia Taz himself), and to all who contributed their thoughts – both those I’ve quoted, and those I’m still chuckling over.

1 comment:

Jane said...

A Chia pet! Just what you needed! With friends like that . . . count yourself a lucky man!