bad hair and the new jerusalem

24 May

“Maybe in heaven, I will finally have good hair.”

I announced it to my friend in one of my forgetting-I-shouldn’t-say-that-out-loud moments. She kind of grimaced at me and said, “Christina, your hair is fine.”

She’s right, of course. My hair is fine. Not in the sense of being thin, although it’s that, too. But fine, as in okay. Not beautiful, silky Pantene-ad hair like so many of my friends have. But not terrible. It is fine.

I’ve never had good hair. Ever since I was about eight of so, I had thick, dark bangs that nearly covered my eyebrows. When I was twelve, I had the world’s worst spiral perm, which didn’t help my crooked teeth and big glasses and bookishness any.

Even at twenty-eight, on my bad days, I would give almost anything for good hair.

For curly ringlets that frame my face. For thick, silky straight hair like my friend, whose hair we joke looks like a “forest maiden.” For the long, blonde, effortless straight locks of another, who can manage to look windswept and photogenic after three days camping in the Utah heat. For the silky black short cut of one, who looks like she just stepped out of an ad for Modcloth. For the thick dusty blonde of another friend, who somehow always looks styled and put together, even though she is a self-avowed shampoo hater.

My hair is thin. Not quite straight, not quite wavy. Usually back in a ponytail because I can’t bear to get up a minute earlier than I need to in the morning. Or in a messy not-quite-bun, with wisps of hair flying around in every direction, making me look like a preteen, not exactly a Classy Professional Lady. If it’s going to look good, it takes daily shampoos and products and straightening irons and constant monitoring and never getting too hot or opening windows or playing too much.

For me, it’s just not worth it.

But I am starting to see something else when I look at my bad hair. Maybe what I need isn’t good hair but good eyes. 

I need good eyes to see all the decisions behind my messy locks. Because, for me, it is a decision. My sweet friends don’t spend hours with the straightening iron or at the salon. I don’t have that effortless hair–but if I chose, I could buy all the products, spend hours with my hair straightener or getting a blowout, treat the split ends and figure out how to style it. I could have some semblance of “good hair.”

But, at least for now, I choose not to.

I choose to look into the eyes of a friend’s sweet newborn instead of looking into a mirror.

I want to spend my money making a five-course Easter feast for my friends instead of getting my hair done at the salon.

I want to play, to scream and jump and cheer for my team in a hot and crowded stadium instead of watching on TV at home.

I still wish I had good hair. I wouldn’t be disappointed if my body was resurrected with gorgeous, Pantene-model locks.

But I don’t think there will be mirrors in the New Jerusalem. Just lips to smile and legs to play and hands to hold and hair to be braided and touched and whipped by the wind.

Eyes to see the beauty of others. And our beauty reflected in everyone around us.

I’m linking up with Hayley at the fabulous blog The Tiny Twig for her Thursday series “Giving Up on Good” about all the “good” things we choose not to do…so we can do what’s best for us instead.

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2 Responses to “bad hair and the new jerusalem”

  1. Brian Davidson May 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Randomness: The title of the post and the background of the first pic make me think of Isaiah 17:3:

    “The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the LORD of hosts.”

    Glad you’re blogging. Hope all is well.

    • Christina May 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      Brian, if we have a nuclear war or something and all of our Bibles are somehow burned up, I want you around. Your ability to make biblical connections never ceases to amaze.

      Things are well here! My husband Josh will be starting his Ph.D in literature at the University of California, San Diego, so we’re gearing up for a cross-country move. I’m just working my bill-paying job right now while looking for something in ministry in California.

      Thanks for reading! And I hope you’re well, too–still reading that Greek, I presume?

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