I had a child ask me last week, “Why’d you do it?”
I replied, “Why did I do what?”
Child shot back, “Why’d you color your hair white?”(I took that as a huge compliment. Obviously I still looked a little too young to have grey hair, or at least that is what I preferred to think he was implying) 🙂
“I didn’t color my hair white, sweetie, it’s naturally white.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” (I didn’t take that as such a huge compliment, but smiled just the same, knowing I had a wonderful story to tell).
So I began to tell him what I have been telling everyone else who’s felt the unction to ask. For him, I put it in young people language. For you, today, I’m putting it in big people language.
We tend to go white (or grey) in our family early. It’s not just me. It came from Mama. All of my siblings do so as well. Here’s my handsome brother Matt:
Distinguished looking right? It’s distinguished on guys. Society accepts it. Makes them look even more handsome to some. I’d have to agree with that assessment.
But women? Not so much. I knew that, and was in my thirties or forties (memory is not serving me well, but I think in my mid 30’s) when I first started to dye my hair to its natural chestnut brown color at first and then experimented with different shades of red later.
My hair was starting to lose its luster with each new application, but I didn’t care. Anything was better than those dreaded roots. Photos started to look phony as hell, especially next to my daughter’s lovely profile. I started to experience frequent migraines, and spent money we didn’t have every month on a new box. Ah, well, but we do what we must.
Then one day, while reading my Bible, I came across this verse in Proverbs:
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness~ Proverbs 16:31
I’d read it before. Mama had pointed it out to me years ago. Well that was good for her, but I certainly wasn’t ever thinking of adopting it into my set of priorities.
But this night as I read it again, I heard God speak.
“Do you understand what you are reading? Read it again. I value it! Me,-God, I see it as a CROWN- a splendorous crown.” And then I heard him plain as day: “Who would you rather impress? Your friends? Other women? Men? Or would you rather please Me?
“Read it again. Do you not see that I give it to you as a gift? You get it along the way of a righteous life. …it is attained in the way of righteousness. ‘ ” (Now I aint saying I’m Ms. Righteous, so that part of the scripture still puzzles me a bit).
“Kathleen, when you insist on coloring your hair, you are telling me that you do not appreciate the gift I have bestowed upon you. You are telling me that the gift I am telling you is so valuable, is not good enough for you. You are, essentially, throwing my gift back in my face.”
Gulp. I read the verse again, just like He asked me to. And then I read it one more time.
“I look too young to have grey hair, (okay this was seven years ago folks….lol) people won’t get it. They’ll do a double take. I won’t be attractive to anyone anymore. Women won’t know how to take me. Goodness only knows what the men will think. ” I hadn’t even factored in all of the precious reactions from children that I would get- and yes, there has been some most precious honesty from the children.
“But you know what God?- You matter to me more than all of that. If You are asking me to leave my hair in it’s natural state to glorify You, then I will do it. ” And I got down on my knees and worshiped and never looked back. Perhaps the one good thing I did in all my life.
My husband of only a few months was nothing short of amazing when I told him my decision.
“You must do what you feel in your heart God is asking you to do and I support you one hundred percent. AND you will still be beautiful.” Sigh…what a doll.
Well God has a way of blessing our sacrifices. I have never, in all my life, gotten so many compliments on my hair as when it finally all grew out and I got a really nice cut.
One such compliment stands out above all the rest.
I was using the ladies room in an upscale restaurant and in walked the most drop-dead gorgeous black woman I have ever seen. I mean, she was like perfect. Beautiful skin, eyes, hair, and the coolest wardrobe. Just really great taste all around. I just couldn’t help but admire her. I finished drying my hands, gave her a smile and started to walk out the door.
“Ma’m, I’m sorry,” she called from behind. “I just have to tell you before you leave that your hair is truly stunning. It’s the nicest thing I have seen in a long time, and you wear it so well. You’re really a beautiful lady.” Those were her words to a T. I gushed my thanks and swept out the door.
“Awww, God, you are soooo good to me!” Thank You, Thank You for that! I know that came straight from You!”
Beauty is so much more than what we perceive it to be isn’t it?