Here is another entry from fellow WCS teacher/coach Nathan Wagner on the topic of facial hair!
This past Thanksgiving I decided to grow a beard. Never in my imagination did I think it would cause the amount of commentary and conversation it did. People ask a lot of questions when you grow a beard. Like, why? I just did it. Or, does your wife like it? She does. But mainly, when are you going to shave?
I grew my beard because I wanted to see how it would look, then I kept it because the soccer season in Texas is cold and windy. Then I decided it would be a good reminder for the race I ran a week ago. It became a impetus to achieve my running goal.
Since Thanksgiving, my beard has become a topic of Biblical proportions: comparisons to Abraham (both the patriarch and president), Moses, and most recently, Jesus. The recent comment about Jesus reminded me of a time I got to play Jesus in a summer camp rendition of the crucifixion. We had gathered the campers in the main lodge for our typical devotional message, but they had no idea what was planned. A few minutes into the devo, shouts erupted from outside and a trial was about to begin. The counselors acted out the final hours of Jesus life--from Pilate to Golgotha. I had a cross and torn up clothes, artistic depictions of bruises and blood. While most of the harsh actions were simulated out of their view, I did have to walk with my cross, along the main gravel road of the camp. And the “Roman guards,” my fellow counselors and friends, made that walk difficult. They through me to the ground, one held my face in the mud, they hit me and threw rocks at me. (College students get easily carried away.) Then they “crucified” me on the cross. Obviously, there are a lot of potential nuggets of insight that could stem from this incident. To experience an infinitesimal fraction of the experience Christ had was heart-changing. To watch the mob mentality that quickly overcomes an audience was insightful. To portray Christ in anything is, in general, a strange feeling. I’ve had long hair for a long time and long facial hair from time to time. The comparisons never end, but it gets a little awkward sometimes.
My goal in life is that people might mistake me for Jesus--not because of the hair on my head or face--but because of the life I live. Better yet, I hope they see him in me. And one day, I want my heavenly Father to see his son in lieu of me on the judgment day. After all, that’s what our new lives are all about.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org