I desperately wanted to be like everyone else – but it was tough cause I had red hair – bright red hair – stick out in a crowd red hair.   All the mommas said I was cute, but their offspring were cutthroat.

Kids prey on those who are different.  If they can’t find a kid of another race, or with a disability – they pick on the red head. 

As if to make matters worse, my red hair formed a cowlick above my forehead.  Straight up it went.  My dad was also my “DYI” barber (oh joy).  He would buzz everything but the cowlick.  I looked like I ran into a wall – face first, with the cowlick reaching for the sky. 

I complained about it, but dad responded with a lecture.  “Why do you want to look like everyone else?”

I ignored him.  I was determined to lick that cowlick.  It just needed some training.  I figured I would mash it down by wearing a toboggan cap – even though it was July.  I used Brillcream but a little dab did not do me.  

This merited another lecture, “Son, why not dare to be different?  Who knows maybe people will even imitate you?”

“Right dad! – I’ll just try something else.”  I got one of my mom’s nylon stockings and pulled it over my head.   I wonder what the other kids would say if they saw that?    The stocking was so tight, my ears turned blue, but my red hair still stood straight and tall. 

I was a mess.  And it wasn’t until I was, much older that I realized that my Heavenly Father had similar counsel for me. 

King David was speaking to God when he said this in Psalm 139:14-15 “I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing.  You knew me thoroughly; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth. –  NET Bible ®

According to Scripture, God is responsible for making the person called me – my body, soul and mind – all His doing.  

The word “sewed” was used to describe the creative process.   I like that.  Elsewhere the same Hebrew word was translated as “embroidered.”   (Exodus 35:35) I like that even better.

To embroider is to take plain cloth and uniquely adorn it with multicolored thread.  In the past it was always done by hand which meant that no two embroidered pieces were exactly alike.

To embroider something requires a detailed plan.  This suggests that there is nothing about me or you for that matter that is accidental or random. 

According to David the finished product is awesome.  Who me? 

It was frustrating trying to be someone else, so I caved in and tried to follow dad’s advice.  I dared to be different – to do and to be who God created me to be.   

When the rest of the kids wrote their stories using the third person, I used the first person and the teacher proudly read my creative paper to the class.  

When the band wanted to do the same old cover tunes, I would slip in a funny and original song and bored people began to listen again.

The frustration in me began to fade, and an exhilarating freedom was taking root.  It was fun, really fun to be me.

The cowlick, however, was still a sore spot.   But – one day, dad and I were driving through our neighborhood, and he pointed out Steve K, the cool kid who lived down the street.    

I couldn’t believe it!  Steve had pasted a bunch of goop on his hair, to force it to stand up into a cow lick – just like mine.

Oh – poor Steve!  He should dare to be different! 

As Father’s Day approaches, I want to say that I am grateful for the one in heaven for having uniquely crafted me, and the one that was at my house who helped me to find me. 

A PRAYER: Father I am uniquely and wonderfully made. Help me to embrace this when I’m tempted to erase it.