Over the last couple of days, I have been having some funny conversations about my hair with my friends on Facebook. After spending my entire adult life with what I would consider long hair, I decided on Monday that it was time for a grown-up haircut. Experiencing immediate buyer's remorse, I did the mature thing and started whining about it on Facebook. The "conversation" that ensued has been great fun and I wasted so much time online yesterday that I am "fasting" from Facebook today. (Blogging does not count because my Typepad account is set up to automatically post everything I write to FB.)
Isn't it funny the things to which we attach meaning? I know it is shallow, but my long hair was/ is a part of how I see myself...part of the myriad of different things that make me, me. I grew up in Texas in the 1980s, for goodness sake! Long hair...big, fluffy hair...is part of being a girl in Texas where I spent the ages 12 to 24. Besides being a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan and having a bit of a southern accent, the long hair was part of the total package that makes me a Texas girl despite the fact that we have now lived here on the East Coast for 20 years. That and the absolutely fabulous black cowboy boots that I bought in Texas a couple of years ago.
What else makes me, me? I am a singer. I am a blonde. I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a lover. I am a book lover. I am a mashed potatoes lover. I am smart. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am a loud laugher. I am loquacious. I am a woman. I am a friend. I am a writer. I am heterosexual. I am a fanatic about purple. I am friendly/ obnoxiously overbearing (depending on the mood of the recipient.) I am a social worker. I am white. I am a good listener. I am a Cowboy fan. I am a Democrat. I am wealthy. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am Beloved.
Some of these things are physical characteristics. Some are preferences. Some speak to my beliefs. Some are aspects of my personality. Some are luck of the draw and some are things that developed over time. Some are choices, some will never change. Some have always been true and others are just being revealed. Some matter a great deal and some are of less relative importance. Some will be less true in 10 years, some will be with me into eternity.
My point? None of these things individually is all of who I am. I am an evolving, changing, growing, learning individual and these things all together make up the tapestry of who I am. If you made a judgement about what kind of music I liked based on the color of my eyes, you would clearly miss the whole picture. If you guessed how I vote based on my religious affiliation, you would be jumping to conclusions. If you guessed what color my hair was when I was born based on what color it is now, you would likely be wrong. :-) You get my point..., as humans, we like to categorize and simplify. If we aren't careful, we fall prey to flash judgements about who a person is based on one thing that we know to be true about them. People are much more complicated and interesting than that!
Yet, some things do matter more. Each week when I go to the Lamb Center, I find that many of the parts of who I am that appear meaningful in the outside world, really don't matter much within those walls and around that table. When I am there, I wear my most casual clothes...jeans, tennis shoes and a Lamb Center or CPC t-shirt. I pull my hair back in a pony tail and leave the fancy jewelry at home. How I look, where I live and how I vote aren't really of interest to these people who are so hungry for hope. The fact that I love the Lord and I love each one of them is enough to belong to this community. As we share our hearts together and mine God's Word for treasure, I find I am my most true, REAL self and I experience the reality of the most important aspect of who I am...I am Beloved. Connecting to other human beings to experience that truth; the Kingdom of God drawing near.
So, enough of that, let's get back to my hair. My husband says that, with my new conservative haircut, people will start thinking I am a Republican. With the purple streaks that I will be putting in my hair, should I get my nose or my eyebrow pierced??