• Rev. Drew Stockstill

Heaven in a Hair Clip

Thursday, May 21, 2020

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, make speed to save us;

O Lord, make haste to help us.

Scripture Reflection: “Heaven in a Hairclip”

John 6:29-34

29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

This morning I stepped on a discarded hair clip. Hair clips, bobby pins, and hair ties cover the floor of our home like the dandelions cover our yard. I suspect the toddler, River, to be the sower of this morning’s clip, discovered when I stepped out on the balcony to soak in the cool, sunny morning.

She brings me hair clips, eyes sparkling, with a set serious face, patting her head, politely declaring, “help, help.” Her hair is too short, too thin, and she too curious about what has been fixed to her head for the clip to stand a chance. A light breeze and searching fingers blow the clips right away.

I gather up a few strands of the blond silk on her head, push the clip through, and snap it shut. She gives me a deeply satisfied, serious nod. Then her hands float upwards, her fingers find the clip, she gently tugs and out it falls. She offers it up to me, patting her head, beseeching me, “Help.”

And again, and again, and again, until she marches off, the clip sliding out, onto the floor where it remains, until my foot finds it.

She likes to feel like her sister and her mother. But I think that it’s the being helped that she loves. The gentle touching of her hair as I place the clip that confirms she has been understood and taken seriously. The unconscious affirmation that she is loved and tended by one who longs for her to feel certain of those things her whole life. Silly-sweet as this dance of the hair clip maybe, it is a pattern long set in our beings. We long to be seen and understood, even when we can’t understand ourselves, helped by one we know loves us enough to take seriously even our silliest requests, made with sincere hearts.

How many times has God strolled in the garden in the cool of the evening and stepped on one of our discarded blessings, which we so longed for but soon cast aside?

I suspect it’s the being helped we crave, and I believe it’s the loving, tending, and caring for us that makes God’s heart swell, even as we bound forth and with blessings slipping from our hair.

They asked and God gave them bread in the wilderness – everyday, manna from heaven. It never lasted but if was always there when they needed it. It was the being helped that they craved. The disciples said to Jesus, “give us this bread always,” patting their bellies, “Help, help.” And so God becomes the bread, so desirous to fill our deepest desire to be helped always; confirming for us, indeed, we are loved and tended by one who longs for us to be certain of that grace forever and ever. Manna, hair clips, and grace abound.


Let us Pray:

Satisfy us with your love in the morning,

and we will live this day in joy and praise.

Loving God, as the rising sun chases away the night, so you have scattered the

power of death in the rising of Jesus Christ, and you bring us all blessings in him.

Especially we thank you for:

the community of faith in our church . . .

those with whom we work or share common concerns . . .

the diversity of your children . . .

indications of your love at work in the world . . .

those who work for reconciliation. . .

People of God, for what else do we give thanks? Add your own prayers of thanksgiving.

Mighty God, with the dawn of your love you reveal your victory over all that would

destroy or harm, and you brighten the lives of all who need you.

Especially we pray for:

families suffering separation . . .

people different from ourselves . . .

those isolated by sickness or sorrow . . .

the victims of violence or warfare . . .

the church in the Pacific region. . .

And for the family of Joan Harris, Dick Shepley and his family, John and Susan, baby Kellan, Mary, Sharon and Tom Herrold, Duana, Larry, Jennifer Watkins, Brenda and Cliff, Bob, Rochelle, Karen and Steve, Barb and Butch, Sharron Blezard, Marcia, Rose, Phil and Alice, Stanley Hope, Jake, John, Julie, the nurses of our Medical Outreach Clinic and…

People of God, for what else do we pray? Add your own prayers.

O God,

you are the well-spring of life.

Pour into our hearts the living water of your grace,

that we may be refreshed to live this day in joy,

confident of your presence

and empowered by your peace,

in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.”

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