Gray Days

WORDS FROM W.W. August 22, 2010
Back in June I issued a challenge to the children at our summer day camp to collect a certain amount of money for mission concerns around the world. If they achieved the goal I would get a Mohawk haircut. They did and I “was done!” About five days later Phil, my barber, took the rest of the Mohawk off. Having just “stubble” on top of my head wasn’t a bad thing for the summer months. I didn’t have to worry about my hair being messed up in the morning- it wasn’t there!
Now…two months later I’m looking like a Chia Pet with my hair sticking out and up. It’s still not long enough to use a comb on (I can’t even remember where my comb is!). Half the time I think I look like Dr. Emmett J. Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in Back To The Future. The other half of the time I think I’m sporting a hairstyle that is cool! I can’t think of another word to describe “happening!”
As it is growing back out, however, I’ve noticed something. There’s more gray! I was hoping it was the lighting, but it’s not. It’s gray, as gray as a Fall day in Michigan!
There are two ways of looking at it. The first is the realization that gray is not a phase that comes and goes. My hair isn’t going to turn back to brown…unless I help it.
It’s gray to stay!
The second way of looking at it is that scripture says some good things about “grayness.” I like this one. “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)
“Righteous, brother!” I feel really hip in using that word.
I never really thought about gray hair being a crown. I’m not sure what that says about bald-headed guys.
Then there’s Proverbs 20:29. “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.” I’m going to use that verse the next time someone asks me to help them move. “See the hair. Ask someone who still has strength.”
I should feel flattered by my increasing grayness, but gray is used to describe so many unimpressive things. Like a lot of unclear decisions, it’s a gray area. A day that few people care about is one with gray skies. Being color-blind, gray is very confusing and frustrating to me, because I can’t tell if it’s green, off-white, or even pink. Gray is non-committal. It gives me no authentic sense of what it really is.
And yet when it comes to hair, the Bible makes it sound desired and honored. It makes the gray-haired person feel appreciated. It’s funny how we try to hide our gray when it starts appearing, like it’s a bad case of teenage acne. Companies makes millions of dollars helping people hide their gray. I wonder what would happen is all the “gray-away” products were suddenly recalled for a few months. Would we be shocked at how we really look?
I’m going to go with the flow on this one. Carol says I look distinguished. If I could just grow some stubble on my face Brett Favre and I could almost be mistaken for twins.

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One Comment on “Gray Days”

  1. Charly Says:

    Why was it sooooooooo cool during Bible times to have gray hair, and now it’s sooooooooo uncool??? Maybe it’s because we are tought to think we know everything better than everybody else and don’t need the wisdom of those who are older. There is just something about growing older and realizing I don’t know as much as I thought I did 😦

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