Hmm. Now some of you are talking about me being “up to” something… or coming to a “conclusion.” Don’t deceive yourselves. I am good at questions, not answers. Have I ever concluded anything before?
Also I feel frustrated in my attempts to keep from bringing in two subjects I wish to avoid: Complaining about My History and Campaigning for the Head Covering. When they sneak into this post, please know at least that I am aware they are there, and will shuttle them out again in due course.
Confession: Sometimes I don’t think my long hair is a glory. Sometimes I think it’s a pain.
I wanted to know if I was alone, and I wasn’t. Not all of you said “frustrating” but many of you hinted at it, though the causes of your frustration may be different than mine. You said
coming and going—thin—wayward—dry—indecisive—falling out—coarse—unpredictable—frustrating—slippery—flat—straightened!—graying—frizzy—fluffy—fickle—work—pet peeve
I had a hunch I wasn’t alone.
Not that we’re all terribly frustrated with our hair! Quite the contrary. You also said
numbered by Him—glorious—long—beautiful—stretching to my fingertips—LOVE—fun to work with—highlighted—always liked—wavy—shiny—straight
Like me, you love your hair and are proud of it. For the most part. If only it weren’t so ___!!
We could say that about any part of our bodies, I suspect. We usually want them very much, just a little slimmer, or curvier, or longer, or bluer. But especially our hair. This thing that’s actually called our “glory” in the Bible… supposed to be glorious, one of you said, one who fought through to some answers on the other side of the frustration.
I have a feeling that most of you long-hair girls have long hair not only because you like long hair and think it’s pretty, but also because you were taught that this is what a woman should have. You grew up knowing that, and you would sooner whack off your arm than your mane.
But long hair comes at a cost. The men say it’s glorious and mysterious. (Paul was a man too, howbeit a single one.) They don’t have to deal with trying to find a decent way of arranging it that is simple and efficient and attractive (but not too attractive), brushing out the tangles, taking ten minutes for a good shampoo, and picking up strands all over the house. Correction: sometimes they do the latter—and they don’t think it’s glorious, do they?
You see we have this split: Theoretically, we know it’s glorious. The Bible says so. Our parents said so. Our husbands said so. And instinctively, we know it’s glorious. It’s lustrous and colorful and supple. But practically…!!
It takes time and effort to care for long hair well, and sometimes we are not sure if the effort is worth the results we are getting.
I will confess to you that I that I wash my hair as seldom as possible, I don’t brush it 100 strokes a day, I leave it pinned up almost 24/7, I feel frivolous and vain when I experiment with it, and I remove the straggly ends only with misgivings because when I was little my preacher said that “long” could only mean “as long as possible.”
I doubt nonparticipation is what Paul had in mind.
I suspect that one camp of us were taught to value the cover on our hair, and one camp of us were taught to value the glory of it, and very few of us know how to balance both. Speaking only for myself now—As soon as it’s covered, I lose interest in it. As soon as it’s glorious, I want to show it off.
I think we could care a little more about the glory.
I’m always amazed at Scripture’s way of placing value, and how what’s inside is of equal or greater importance than what’s outside. I’m not talking about radiant character, girls—stay with me. I’m talking about physical things covering physical things.
Like in the tabernacle, the richest of red cloths and embroidered cloths and linen cloths, covered all over by a dull, scruffy badgers’ skin. What was the point of all that beauty? Like in Solomon’s temple—a great throne of the purest ivory, completely overlaid with gold. Why didn’t he just build the base of plastic or somethin if he was going to hide it? That’s what we would do in the West, but the East was onto something, knew something true about the world–
Again, I’m not trying to preach a covering. I cover my long hair because I think it is too glorious to share with casual onlookers—as I cover the other most beautiful parts of me. It’s my refusal to wield power. But women who love Jesus have come out at many different places on this, and I respect them. I see in the text reason to differ—to read that her hair IS her covering, or that her covering was for that time or place… Bien. All I want to say is that
Covering my hair does not warrant disrespecting it.
Covering it does not give me license to wash it as little as possible, to ignore its stress, to laugh off its straggly ends, to keep it pinned up and veiled night and day. What does glory mean?
I suspect that many of us were taught about the cover, and not enough about the glory. We know how to put it up, by gum, but do we have any idea how to take it down?
Do we know how to care for it? How to treasure it? When you teach your daughter about pinning it up, do you also teach her how to arrange it prettily down? Or do you assume that when she gets to places of intimacy she’ll just know how to bring it out, how to display her glory and wield her power in the right place?
Teach her about the glory!
The sayings of Shari on this topic are ended for now, but I hope to do a little learning in the coming month. I want to visit my library, chat with a few of you, experiment privately with some ideas for care and management… and tell you what I learn. You too?