When I was young, I dreaded the thought of having white hairs. For me it meant old age and eventually… death. But as I grow older, and get my share of white hairs that multiply by the day, my perspective about it changed. By the grace of God, I began to welcome those glistening white strands as part of the beautiful process of aging.
God’s great design and His gentle dealing with His people are evident in the process of aging. God’s wisdom dictates that the emergence of our white hairs be a slow and lengthy process. Initially, it appears as a permanent “highlight” of brownish shade just above the forehead. Soon it invades a wider part of our blackened mane. Usually, it takes several years before strands of “real” white hair appear.
In this gradual progression, we can see the gentle care of God to His people. Just imagine if in the morning, when we look at the mirror, we saw that all of our hairs have suddenly turned white as snow. Certainly, it would be an emotional trauma. Many could have suffered a heart attack. But the Lord in His goodness designed that growing old – and the subsequent growing of white hairs – be a very slow process to gradually prepare us for old age.
How amazing that the Lord is concerned even with the minor details of our lives- such as our hair. The Bible says that our hairs are all numbered. But we ourselves don’t even have the faintest idea of the number of hairs on our head, right? Even a balding old man would not dare count the few remaining strands on his head. But the Lord knows and this shows His loving care for us. If God is concerned with our hair, how much more with our problems and worries. We only need to trust and rest on His promises..
Should we be ashamed of our white hairs? Not at all! In fact we should wear it with joy, since God allows us to live long enough to see our hair change its color. Many die at a very young age and will not experience the many good things that white-haired people have gone through and enjoyed. Our white hair is a testimony that the Lord is still lending our dear lives to us. However, there is nothing wrong with dying our hair – black, brown or whatever color. – as long as we are not despising the fact that we are getting old. And certainly, if we do not dye our hair, it does not add to our spirituality or virtuosity, since these are matters of the heart.
As we grow old however, it is important that people will notice that we earn our salt and pepper mane, by becoming wiser in making decisions, more understanding, more caring and loving. Sad to say, there are times when it is the younger ones who need patience in dealing with older folks: “Pagpasensyahan na natin , tumatanda na kasi”. Worse, some older folks alienate themselves from other people and earn the reputation of being selfish, domineering or proud.
May God grant us the grace to grow old gracefully, and that the number of our white hairs be proportional to the godly wisdom that we possess. May we indeed be good examples to the younger generation.