not a hair

Last night Heather and I talked about yesterday's post. And one important thing that came up was the value of having nothing to lose. For example, there's a freedom in knowing that I don't have anything that a collection agency would want or could take from me. But how does that apply to the relationships we don't want to lose?

This morning I thought of this passage that I didn't quote yesterday:

You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; you will be hated by all for my name's sake.

But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. (Lk 21.16-19)
It is important not to give in to family or friends who use their valued relationship to pressure us. As Paul warned about marriage (1 Cor 7.32-34), important relationships can divide us between pleasing God and pleasing our friends or family. But Jesus countered this by radically redefining family:
Then [Jesus'] mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you."

But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." (Lk 8.19-21)

But what about these loved ones "who hear the word of God and do it," who don't tempt or persecute us but who are one with us in God's family? They can still be threatened. We can fear losing them, and be tempted to do anything (or compromise anything) to protect them. I wonder about that as I grow closer to Heather and consider having children. Wonder and tremble a little.

But just as we are not to fear for ourselves, trusting that our lives are protected in God's hand, should we not also trust that the lives of those we love are protected? Isn't that what "eternal life" means? That though we who hear the word of God and do it will be "hated by all" and "some of you they will put to death," still "not a hair of your head will perish." Not a hair of our head, and not a hair of their head.

Which is so good, because I don't want to lose even a hair of the one I love.