No- I don’t think my identity is wrapped up in my hair. It’s a little short for all that.
But I was fighting it this morning (as I do) and realized that I’m a lot like it- especially when I think about spiritual life. I know, that sounds way overly spiritual, but it was actually a bit of an epiphany.
First, there’s the color. I’m a brunette by nature. Not real dark, but brown- almost a muddy color. But there are natural hints of auburn red in there. And when the light hits it right, it can sparkle a bit. Now, if you look at photos from the last several years, I’m more blonde than brunette. I like it better a little lighter (my hubby likes it a lot lighter, but that’s not the point). I like the way it brightens my face. The trouble with coloring your hair tho, is the roots. And when you have dark roots and use certain shiny hair product, even clean hair looks a little greasy.
The dark-light metaphor is so obvious that I won’t belabor it, but the roots kind of remind me of how hard it is to walk in the light as I continue to grow. It is easy to become complacent and allow the sins that I should be past to come back in, making me muddy all over again. When my roots start to show, I wonder how long I can go before people really start to see it… way too much like those things we do in hiding that we hope no one notices or holds us accountable for.
Then there’s the texture. My hair is “lukewarm” – neither straight nor curly. Technically, I suppose it’s wavy. And it responds to the environment around it. If it’s humid, it just curls right up. If it’s dry, the curls relax. What I’d like is straight and manageable. Living in Florida – for at least ¾ of the year, that just isn’t going to happen without help. Serious help. And the Holy Spirit isn’t really about the business of straightening hair. But give me the right product and a little bit of patience, and I’ve got decently straight hair. Give me a couple more tools and a little time, and I’ve got a pretty rockin’ hairstyle. At least until I add some moisture. It might be in the air, or in a second styling product that I add, or even a hand that isnt’ quite dry after washing.
Isn’t that just the way? God is all over me, shaping me, patiently giving me the support I need to become like Christ… a pretty rockin’ guy, if I might say so. And as long as I follow directions, walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, spend time in the Word and not in places that are destructive for me… I can see myself reflecting God’s character.
I have good hair days and bad hair days. And sometimes when it gets unhealthy, my hair needs a good cut. Right now, I’m trying to grow it a little longer, which requires so much more patience to get past the bad hair days- when it’s sticking out in all the wrong places, flat where it ought to have life… and I’m reminded just how much God loves me in my own slow growing up and out process.