Different Kinds of Happy

The Cut

I want long hair again. Probably another five or six inches, midway down my back. Although Florida summers lean all the way into November sometimes December, although longer hair means more shampoo, longer showers, and a greater likelihood of tangles and bad hair days, I still want to let it grow. Ever since my last haircut, this desire has been in the back of my mind, surfacing when I would spot a manageable-looking up-do on Pinterest or envy some other girl’s long locks. But a few days ago as I brushed my hair, I noticed uneven tips, realized how aggravating it’s been to comb through little snags when it’s only been a few hours since it was last combed. And that’s when the annoying reminder reared its ugly head — I need a trim, just a healthy trim before it can grow again. Even though I remembered how quickly and healthily my hair grew the weeks after the last cut, I still cringed to think of an inch, even just half an inch being chopped off. So much for the last few months of patiently letting it reach its blonde way down my shoulders.

These conflicting emotions, dreams of long locks confronted by the need to prune the wildness that was simply a couple split ends and minor tangles, seem so melodramatic in retrospect.  You’re probably thinking, what a girl. (And I would agree.) But this minor crisis brought to mind a truth. The sins I give free reign that lie deep in my heart, those I like to give more innocuous names like “weaknesses” or “struggles” — fear, worry, and others — these are the things I must let God cut away. Surrender is never pleasant or easy. Christ sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. But is really an option? I must surrender to His holy blade before I can expect to grow. Otherwise, I’ll end up stagnant, with a faith as vibrant and compelling as split ends.

There seems to be a song for everything and in this case, I can’t help but think of Jason Gray’s song based on Psalm 119:67-77 called, quite appropriately, “The Cut.”

My heart is laid
Under Your blade
As you carve out Your image in me
You cut to the core
But still you want more
As you carefully, tenderly ravage me.

And You peel back the bark
And tear me apart
To get to the heart
Of what matters most.
I’m cold and I’m scared
As your love lays me bare.
But in the shaping of my soul
The cut makes me whole.

Mingling here
Your blood and my tears
As You whittle my kingdom away.
But I see that you suffer, too
In making me new.
For the blade of Love, it cuts both ways.

Hidden inside the grain
Beneath the pride and pain
Is the shape of the man
You meant me to be
Who with every cut now you try to set free.

As I glance in the mirror now, I’m glad I decided to get a trim. It really wasn’t that big of a deal and doesn’t look much different than before. Trim-time shouldn’t be fraught with such drama, but I’m glad it opened my eyes to this truth. And I’m pretty excited about reaping the rewards of faithful trims. 🙂

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This entry was published on August 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm and is filed under Faith, Life. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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