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What Lice Taught Me About Evangelism

Last school year, my wife called to tell me she was picking up my second grader from school because she had lice.


Photo courtesy of iStockphoto®

My only previous knowledge of lice came from elementary school where anyone who had lice was considered “not cool,” and we assumed they never washed their hair. Well, my daughter washes her hair regularly, and I tend to think she’s pretty cool.

With new knowledge on lice from the school nurse, the delousing began.

It was a huge task. We vacuumed, sprayed, and washed everywhere lice might live and bagged things up—and that was just our household items. Then, we had to clean out the lice from the actual carrier (daughter) and work hard to make sure the other three kids and my wife didn’t get lice. (I was fairly safe. See picture on website for reason).

Here’s what I learned about lice that helped me think about sharing Christ:

  1. Lice don’t jump. You actually have to make contact. While the Spirit can, we can’t intuit Jesus to others from far away. We have to be close enough for contact. We have to do life with them and share Christ out of our common context. Like avoiding lice, we might be guilty of trying to steer away from those who are far from God in fear that we might catch their sinfulness (by the way, we’ve already caught sin, but we just have to accept the permanent antedate).
  2. Lice are effective at invading everything. We cleaned all of our surfaces. Multiple times. Bagged fifty stuffed animals. For being small, lice are hard to ignore. In appropriate ways, we should inundate people’s lives with our love for Christ. A passing glance will likely not do. We have to be present in all areas. People should have to work hard to ignore our presence and the Holy Spirit’s working.
  3. They don’t stop. They’re committed, those lice. It was multiple rounds of the delousing before they went away for good. A simple rebuff wasn’t going to deter them. What if we were as committed as lice? Only stopping our pursuit when the Holy Spirit convicted us?

Lice are highly contagious. I believe someone already took the clever title “Contagious Christianity,” but the author was right and we should be a part of the contagion.

Here’s to evangelism, lice-style.

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