(Deuteronomy 15:12, 16, 17)
If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free.... But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.
Several weeks ago, out of nowhere, Little Girl announced that she wanted to be baptized on Easter Sunday. She asked Jesus into her heart about a year ago, but has never been interested in baptism before, and we're not sure where this came from all of a sudden. But she remained consistent regarding this decision over a period of two or three weeks, so arrangements were made for an Easter baptism.
Thursday night, my sister called and said that Little Girl wanted to get her ears pierced, and did I think she should let her? (Yes, I find it ironic that she calls to get my opinion on something like this, but won't listen to me regarding important things like diet and medication...) I simply responded that if she (my sister) didn't care, and that if she (Little Girl) really wanted it, I didn't see any reason why not to let her. And so Friday Little Girl went and had her ears pierced.
I've been thinking this over since then and couldn't help but see the symbolism.
In Old Testament times (as indicated by the passage above), fellow Hebrew slaves were to be released during the Year of Jubilee, which occurred every seventh year. However, if the slave willingly chose to stay with his master, he could do so -- and his (or her) ear was pierced to show his willing servanthood.
I no longer wear earrings as anytime I try, my ears get infected, but when I did, I most often wore cross earrings. It was symbolic to me of my willingness to "enslave" myself to my Master, Jesus. And this is why I find Little Girl's ear piercing decision coming on the heels of her baptism decision so meaningful.
And that it just happened that she had her ears pierced on Good Friday, the day that represents Jesus' own piercing on our behalf, and she was baptized, which is a picture of the burial and resurrection of Christ, on Easter Sunday -- well, that has to be more than coincidence.
God is so clever at drawing pictures for us in His Word -- the Old Testament is just full of pictures that were intended to show His people the plan of salvation that He was creating for them. But the concept that God would still be drawing pictures today, drawing them in the life of a little six-year-old girl, well, that's a novel idea to me. But I love it.
I know that Little Girl had nothing of the kind in her head when she decided she wanted to get her ears pierced... I know she was probably only thinking it would be pretty. She intended no symbolism. But the people in Old Testament days didn't realize the things they were doing were pictures either; surely Moses didn't understand that when he was told to speak to the rock and water would come out that this was a picture, and Abraham surely could not have understood when God asked him to sacrifice his promised son that God was painting a picture of His own sacrifice of His own Son. Nonetheless, God was busy drawing pictures through the lives of men and women throughout history. And apparently He's still drawing pictures through the lives of men and women today. And little girls too.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced. Psalm 40:5-6a.
Every Sunday afternoon, Little Girl draws a picture, and it nearly always is a "spiritual" picture of some sort -- such as the picture she drew of heaven a couple weeks ago.
I just love that this week God drew a picture for her.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5