Friday, October 12, 2007

Feeling a tiny bit naked.

It is amazing that hair, which is nothing more than an outgrowth of protein (Keratin, long chains or polymers of amino acids) atop a person's head, can be such a source of security.
I recently removed 10 inches (roughly 3-4 years) of hair. My reason for doing so was noble. I have always wanted to donate hair to locks of love, and did so with a great sense of do-gooder accomplishment.
The strange thing is that once it was all said and done, I started to feel a true sense of loss. I felt myself mourning this part of my body as if it were an amputated limb. And I wonder, is my identity and self-image tied (or twisted in a clip) to my hair? Not sure of the answer, but I am sure of one thing. I wish I could call and get my awesome braid back.
Not to over-spiritualize, but this experience reminded me of a couple of scriptures. One is the 1 Corinthians passage about "her hair" being "her glory" and head coverings and issues of praying and prophesying in church. The other is the admonition in 1 Timothy 2: 9 in which women are urged to "adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments..."

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