Yesterday, I got a hair cut. And by hair cut, I mean I chopped off a good portion of my hair. A good hair cut gives you confidence, a great hair cut makes you feel like you can conquer the world. At least that’s what I heard on a Vidal Sassoon commercial. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram and we’re not friends on Facebook, here it is:
I LOVE it. It’s short, sassy and I don’t feel like a dead animal has crawled up on my neck and… well, died. Short hair has been the way for me to go since I got really sick last year. After the anemia, my hair hasn’t been the same and I didn’t have much to begin with. So I’ve progressively gotten shorter and shorter in my hair style. (Don’t be surprised if I participate in St. Baldrick’s next year.)
Nevertheless, I started thinking about the symbolism of cutting off all my hair. Every time I get a hair cut, if it’s a good one, I feel free. I feel different. Like the world is full of possibilities. And while unrealistic, sometimes I want to chuck out my entire wardrobe and get new things so I don’t have any ties to anything.
So if a haircut makes me feel that way, why don’t I get the same feeling of liberation when trying to deal with some of my own life/emotional/spiritual crap? Probably because the things that define who I am, for better and worse, are more difficult to toss aside than hair. (Although, I’ll admit to my fair share of crying after a bad hair cut.)
Think about it, though. Many of us have just celebrated Easter. I saw so many posts that proclaimed Jesus is risen and death has been conquered. Several of my friends sent Easter greetings and the banners were held high as we rejoiced in the fact that Jesus had been crucified, buried and rose again. While those fundamental tenents of Christian faith are true, what impact do they have on us? If Jesus died to free me from death and the fear of death… If His ultimate sacrifice takes away my sin and washes me clean… If He is who He says He is and freedom is found in Him – why do I run when pruning beings? Why do I hide when His word seeks to deliver me from the things that keep me from union with Him?
There are many answers to those questions. Many times we talk of freedom, but don’t want to sacrifice in order to get it. We presume that freedom should be given to us by Him without cost. A freedom that doesn’t cost us something is no freedom at all, Scripture bears this out. But I think at the base of it is that many times, we really don’t want to be free. We don’t want to break away from the things that bind us because we don’t know who we would be without those things that have kept us “safe” for so long. Fear of death – the death of ourselves, our comforts, the known, cloud our eyes to the better life being offered. When we have been our own protectors for so long, it can be more than challenging to lay ourselves bare to the One who already knows us.
However, I love what Saint Catherine of Siena said:
“Nothing great can be achieved without much enduring.”
“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”
I have experienced these two great truths in varying degrees. Endurance is needed when it comes to anything in life. And knowing the truth and proclaiming it has enabled me to face my fears. So, instead of clinging to what has been, let us move forward. It is time to wake up, for what has been proclaimed is true. Our Deliverer has come. He has set His love upon us like a seal and His love is stronger than death. He longs to bring us into newness of life through faith, love and obedience to Him. It is in the perfection of His love that fear dies and freedom can begin.