Thursday, February 17, 2011

True Colors


Recently, we were having lunch with a family member I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. When she arrived, I had to do a double take. It was her usual body and face, but somebody had taken her blond tresses and replaced them with brown ones.

“Where’s your hair?” I asked.

“This is my hair.”

“No, your blond hair. What did you do with it?”

“I covered it up. It was getting too expensive to have highlights.”

She’d had yellow hair since she was a little girl. Somehow, it didn’t seem right.

I tried not to stare.

A couple of weeks later, I was missing a Kyra Sedgwick look-alike church member at a Wednesday night function, so I asked the person next to me about her.

She pointed across the room. “She’s right there.”

“Where?”

“Right there,” she said waving her finger with emphasis.

Sure enough, my tv star double friend stood right in my line of vision, and I didn’t even recognize her. I later learned she'd also left her golden mane in a porcelain sink at some salon, because it was just becoming too costly to maintain.

The economic downturn was having an unsettling effect on me that I never anticipated: I needed to reorient myself to the new looks of several women I’ve known for years. Change is hard for me.

But the biggest challenge was still ahead.

I’m not a good dental patient. I’m high maintenance, a big baby, and I whine a lot. Mainly, because when I was a child, I was taken to a dentist whose breath smelled of cheap wine and whose office resembled Frankenstein’s house of horrors.

Anyway, the last place I want a surprise is when I’m in “the chair.” But, thankfully, the dentists at the practice I go to are the best in the world.

Really, they are.

After I had my cleaning this week, the dentist I’ll call Dr. Swinn came in. At least I thought she did. But, no, a brown-haired person replaced the previously blond Dr. Swinn. I scanned the woman’s face whose features appeared to be the same of the brilliant, skilled, all American beauty I’d known. As she examined my teeth, I peeped out of the corner of my eye for a close up inspection. I wanted to make sure that Dentist Barbie hadn’t abducted my sweet Dr. Swinn.

But no, it was definitely my own dentist.

After she finished my exam, I said in my calm voice, “I see you’ve changed your hair.”

“Oh, yes. I really didn’t know my hair was this dark, because it’s been blond for so long.”

I didn’t know it was that dark either. This was going to take some getting used to, especially if I have to have a tooth filled.

Oh, well.

I’ve thought about letting my hair go natural, but only for about three seconds. My hair did not grey in an attractive way like the ringlets of some other women. In its natural state, my hair is every color in the spectrum: brown, red, grey, and everything in-between. Not pretty. To save money, I’ve gotten quite proficient at handling do-it-yourself color in between salon appointments.

Don’t look at me to be giving up my dyed locks. Someone will have to pry the root touch-up wand from my little color-stained fingers.

I Samuel 16:7 declares, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Isn’t it good to know that God does not have my idiosyncrasies?

God is not disturbed about the color on our hair or the lack of it. He’s looking at our hearts.

It’s a deep truth in a superficial world.

So, no matter what I do to my hair, I don’t want to cover up my heart.

I want it always to be its true color.

I’m off to Target now; I have a great coupon for a couple of dollars off permanent color. What I really want to know is why permanent color is not permanent.

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