Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Gimme A Kid With Hair!
In the next two weeks, one of our quizzes in my Gospels class will be taken from Luke 21 where Jesus praised the poor woman who gave every cent to her name to the Lord. We will talk about what is important to each of us. I've asked girls if they would shave their heads for huge sums of money and they quickly shake their heads no. Of course, the boys would do it for ten bucks or on a dare. (Well, at least most of them!) The following look at hair is from November 12, 2005.
My father rarely commented on the music we listened to as kids. In fact, I can only remember him saying one thing about any song on the radio. It was 1969 and the song was Hair from the rock musical of the same name. Performing the tune was the squeaky clean siblings- plus- momma group, the Cowsills, who would be the inspiration for the television series, The Partridge Family. What galled Dad was a one line parody of the Star Spangled Banner in the middle of the chorus- "Oh say, can you see my eyes if you can, then my hair's too short!" Others agreed; the song was banned in Vietnam. Hair was controversial then. I remember American Legion Baseball tournaments in the 1970's when all players had to meet hair and sideburns guidelines as posted in the dugouts. Styles have changed and most young men in our school have short haircuts. There are no good old days when it comes to hair, just 'what were we thinking' groans when the high school yearbooks are dusted off. My students will never have the chance to see mine.
Hair is so different for the genders. I've had female students say they wouldn't shave their head for $100,000 while many boys would do it simply if you dared them. It's an adventure to ask a middle school girl if she is having a good or bad hair day. I can never see the difference but they will tell you they know the minute they wake up. Boys probably care some but are reluctant to admit being bothered much over their grooming appearance. We never went to the barber growing up. In a Hawley cost-cutting move, Dad bought a clipper set from a catalog and did the honors until we went away to college. I'm sure I never suggested it was haircut time. Now it's a matter of convenience- I would get more haircuts if I could fit it into my schedule.
I got a haircut Friday. A dilemma when moving to Houston was who would cut my hair. I'm loyal; I don't barber-hop. A teacher at Westbury Christian told me where her husband went. I took her recommendation and have never looked back. The price is right- just $3.00- which means I can leave a 100% tip. The clientele is diverse but almost all the cutters are Vietnamese. The owner is a gregarious Korean gentleman. On this trip, he spent five minutes trying to sell me a lottery ticket which for only $2.00 could change my life- I passed. The same woman has cut my hair the whole time; I'd feel like a traitor if I went anywhere else. We recently passed our 8th anniversary. She's from Vietnam and speaks little English while my Vietnamese is nonexistent. She calls me 'My Teacher' and asks when I am going home to see my 'mommy.' When I try to explain, she pulls out a calendar and has me show her the dates. She made me realize something Friday. Seeing I had one week for Thanksgiving, she said "You're very lucky." For most of the world, a week's vacation is a dream. She works six days a week and each day would seem to repeat the previous. Several years ago, I gave her a Vietnamese Bible for Christmas and had Cathy Vu, one of my students from Vietnam, write a message in it. She has indicated that she has read parts of it. Dwight Moody noted, "Of one hundred men, one will read the Bible and ninety-nine will read the Christian." I hope what she reads in me during our times together is worthy of the Gospel message. Hair may not seem like a theological emphasis but Jesus referred to it. He said we can be assured God cares for us because the Father knows how many we have. Some have more and some less but the math is no problem for the One who planned for us to have hair in the first place. Hair was Samson's trademark and contributed to his downfall. In the week before his death, Mary anointed Jesus' feet with very expensive perfume, using her hair as a towel. My female students would hesitate to do that act of submission. When I ask if they would follow Mary's example, the answer is always, "It depends whose feet it is." Mary's hair was precious to her, just as it was to all women in the ancient world. I doubt if she would have agreed to a $3.00 styling. But she knew her hair was temporary and her love for the Lord was eternal. Like everything in our life, all we have should belong to the Lord. Mary chose to display her devotion with her tresses. In Mark 14, Jesus said her act would always be remembered IN HER MEMORY whenever the Gospel would be preached. So there you have it; even our hair can be a gift dedicated to service in the kingdom of heaven. Whether your cut costs $3.00 or $300.00, whether it's white or black, brown or red, blond or absent, let it glorify the Lord. And if you're interested, my place is on Bissonet at 59 in Houston. It's the lady right next to the cash register. Tell her Steve sent you!
To hear The Cowsills sing Hair, copy and paste the link below:
Applicable quote of the day:Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he's got it all.
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:07 PM