This morning I woke up a few minutes early to style my hair for church. Nothing new, right?
Wrong. This morning was different. Today was the first morning that I would sport my newly cut mohawk to church and I was feeling some kind of way.
I got my hair cut just a few weeks ago. If you know me, or you've seen me in the last few years, you know that I change my hair almost as often as I change the oil on my car. In fact, when I wasn't in the habit of taking better care of my car, I did change my hair more frequently than every 3 months or 3,000 miles. But I digress.
My hair is an extension of my creativity. Sometimes, like now with all of the reading that I have to do (the reading that I am avoiding as I write this), it is my only opportunity to create something visually beautiful. I was sharing with a friend just yesterday that if I don't make art that I will die. Literally. So for now, until I can carve out time again, my hair is my medium.
Back to my mohawk. So, I took the punk route and cut it days after my last Sunday at my home church (it is bad enough that I am a minister who doesn't wear stockings) and days before leaving for Durham with Courtney. I have to admit, I love the cut! It is the best style I've had in over a year! It is funky, pretty, sassy, and present-just like me.
So, what is the big deal? I was totally feeling my mohawk until I returned to school. Although I had a good number of people give me props for my hair, I also had a number of folks look at me funny, question the response from those at my supervised ministry site, and ask me what made me cut it. I had a telephone conversation with one of my boys (when I was looking for a barber) who hadn't sen my hair and he gently mentioned the nature of the church I would be serving. They are an older and more traditional congregation, and he wasn't sure a mohawk would be welcomed. He changed his mind when he saw me a few days later, but still, anxiety clouded my joy and confidence. For a brief moment I was nervous about going to church and serving in ministry. Then I had to remember that God constantly reminds me, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). Even before Lois and John even knew each other's names, God had already created me. Not only did he make me, but he knew me. That means God created me to be a creative, courageous, funky, quirky, sensitive, nerdy,"know-it-all," girly-girl. And guess what? He still called me to the ministry.
Ministry isn't about conforming to anything except the example of Christ. My mohawk doesn't matter to God, my heart does.
In case you were wondering, no one at the church even bat an eye at me today. They welcomed me with loving arms and spoke only of the work we would do together in the name of our Savior. Why, because that's what Jesus would do. I have a feeling that Jesus would like my mohawk, too.
Tonight I do not pose a question, but rather I want to encourage you. Below is a story from Tales of the Hasidism, written by Martin Buber, about a rabbi who encounters God upon his death:
Simply put, God wants us to be ourselves.