The Splendor of Gray Hair

Today, my wife called me old and scruffy. Perhaps it was unintentional, but the second it came out everybody knew it. My daughter’s eyes became saucer-sized as she threw back her head in laughter. My wife visibly pulled away from me as soon as she realized what happened.

If much of our communication is nonverbal, that was definitely the case today. We were having a nice lunch together as a family. We were teetering on the edge of a “moment,” this close to settling in to the kind of warm, comfortable intimacy in which you can just feel at home.

My wife reached over gently toward my face. Ahh, the beauty of a loving touch. Only she was reaching over to pull off a “fuzzy” that happened to be a gray whisker on my unshaven face. There it was; the moment, shattered! In one movement of the hand, she told me I was both old and scruffy.

And then to top it all off, she began laughing uncontrollably! My illusions of youth and rugged handsomeness lay in pieces all over the floor. As I attempted to clean up the mess, I thought to myself, “I earned these gray hairs, and I hope I earned them well.” Some say they come with hard living but Scripture notes otherwise. Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.”

I’ll shave that gray hair off my chin soon enough, but I hope something remains. I hope wisdom and growth in righteousness stick around. What’s more, I hope the wisdom that comes with gray hairs is poured into me by those who are a few gray hairs ahead. And I hope that I can share some wisdom with those who have yet to earn their first gray hair.

So here’s to the “splendor of gray hair” (Prov. 20:29).


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