Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bad Hair Days and the Kingdom of God - Lori Hatcher

Facetime: God, sometimes I don’t feel very attractive. How should I handle these days?

As I prepare for a presentation, I begin praying far in advance. I pray for God to give me the message he wants me to share. I pray for each person who will attend, that God will encourage and equip them. I pray for the event planners, that the Lord will provide everything they need and give them wisdom and creativity. But on the actual morning of the event, I pray for something quite different. I pray for a good hair day.

Sometimes God answers yes, and sometimes no.
If you’re completely honest, you’ve probably done the same thing. Tell the truth. Didn’t you pray to be zit-free on your wedding day? Or bloat-free for your high school reunion? Or 10 pounds lighter for the family photo?

On important days, we often regress into bundles of adolescent insecurity. Having good hair, blemish-free complexions, or flat bellies doesn’t make us into something we’re not, but it does help us feel a little more confident. So what should we do if, despite our best efforts, we have a bad hair day? 

Remember that man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We can rest in the confidence that we are beloved and beautiful. Knowing that God thinks we’re lovely because of what’s inside our hearts, whether our locks lie down or let loose, should put smiles on our faces that are much more beautiful than our marvelous manes. 

Don’t schlump, as Mary Poppins would say. We should raise our chins, put on our best smiles, and look people in the eyes. Chances are, we’re the only ones who are aware of the cowlick that won’t cooperate or the muffin top above our waistlines. If we act as though we wish we could crawl under the rug, however, even those who have no idea that our hair didn’t turn out right are going to sense something’s wrong. We need to put on our game faces and press on!

Concentrate on others. Before long, we’ll forget we had a tussle with our tresses. When we take our eyes off ourselves and place them squarely on someone else, we gain perspective about what truly matters. Another benefit is that if we concentrate on helping others feel comfortable, confident, and cared for, this quality is what they will remember about us, not our crazy coiffure. Poet Maia Angelou agrees: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Remember that true beauty isn’t determined by what our bodies look like, but by what our spirits look like. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, said Peter, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight (1 Peter 3:3-4).

So tomorrow, whether it’s a good hair day or a bad one, let’s greet the world with a smile.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. Her latest book, Hungry for God...Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women, helps women connect to God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time (www.lorihatcher.com).