Well, friends, we’ve reached that point in the pandemic in which our true colors are beginning to show…
It’s a little embarrassing.
It turns out some of us are not quite the shimmering blondes (or brunettes) people thought we were. Others of us are perhaps a little, well, grayer than we appeared in March. Let’s just say there are definitely no “Pantene commercial locks” flipping around our shoulders right now!
As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, there is a steady demarcation line working its way down our scalp, slowly revealing our true colors to the world.
And y’all, these roots aren’t pretty.
If you’re like me, you might be hiding them under a hat or pulling your hair into a ponytail, hoping no one will notice. I’ve even been spending time outside, hoping the sun will lighten them up a little and make them blend in better.
Are you having any luck?
Yeah, me neither.
Or maybe you’re like some of my friends who have decided to take this opportunity to boldly show their true selves to the world. Instead of covering up those roots, they are putting them on display, vowing to no longer conform to societal beauty standards, but to be their own person, gray hair and all!
I admire them, I really do.
But it turns out I’m not that brave.
Maybe if I had that real pretty silvery gray hair, I would consider it, but I don’t. No, my roots are kind of a muddy-blonde-infused-with-clumps-of-mousey-gray color. I’m not sure they even sell shades like this in a bottle, because it is not exactly the look people are clamoring for.
“Ladies, spread a little ‘dirt gray’ on your hair and get that ‘still-stuck-in-quarantine look’ in no time!”
Yeah, not really a hot seller.
I have never really considered myself a vain person. I mean, I barely wear make-up, I detest clothes shopping, and my boys think I’m dressing “fancy” when I put on a pair of jeans. So it has kind of surprised me to realize how much it bothers me to have other people noticing my roots. And they are noticing!
Which got me thinking…
I’ve realized the longer we remain enclosed together within the boundaries of our home, my hair is not the only thing showing its true colors.
It’s definitely easier to point it out in those around me, but it’s been happening enough now that I can’t deny what is evident in my own heart. Some of the “roots” growing out of me during this unusual, uncomfortable time, like my hair, are also not so pretty.
Selfishness. Laziness. Impatience. Gluttony.
And I am not the only one. This break from our normal routine is revealing many of our heart-roots:
As a nation, we have seen hoarding and arguing, disagreements and name-calling, all over things as silly as toilet paper. We have found ourselves resistant to surrendering our individual “rights” for the well-being of others. We have found a way to make even a virus political, opting for divisiveness and slander when there are such great opportunities for generosity and compassion.
Our “busy-ness” has been stripped away, and we have found not just empty schedules, but also empty hearts, revealing idols we didn’t even know we had. We miss our entertainment… perhaps we hadn’t realized until it disappeared just how much time and money we spend on those “extra” things.
Families are gathered around the dinner table every night, which is unusual in many homes. We have been given the gift of time together, and yet, often we find ourselves choosing the numbing comfort of the digital world over investing in our spouses, our children. It’s just easier; after all, Netflix doesn’t talk back, and our Facebook friends like everything we say!
Misdirected worship. Laziness. Selfishness. Pride.
Thankfully, these traits are sneaking out only at the roots- most of our lives are dominated by our better virtues. Someone must look closely to see these unsightly “grays”. However, the more time that passes, the more these traits become evident…
Unless we do something about them.
Just like with my hair, my initial instinct is to hide them. Cover them up, pretend they’re not there, and no one will notice, right? Only, roots have a way of continuing to grow until they can no longer be hidden.
Well, I could just accept that they reveal who I really I am inside, and put them on display for everyone to see. After all, if this is the real me, I should be okay with that and so should you, right? This is just the way God made me.
But it isn’t really. I know that, and so do you.
While I am all for being genuine, there is no value in pursuing the worst version of myself. Just because the roots are there doesn’t mean that is all that’s there.
Do we let weeds continue to grow in a garden? If so, after awhile they will choke out the real plants and take over the entire space. But the weeds weren’t planted there by the gardener. So, when people look at the garden, they aren’t actually seeing a true reflection of what the garden was intended to be, but something it became on its own.
I don’t want to hide my roots, but I also don’t want to wear them proudly, embracing a tainted version of myself. So then, what’s a girl to do?
When I go to the hair salon, I ask my stylist to help me be the best version of myself. I don’t want to leave looking exactly the same, nor do I want to look totally different. I still want to be me- just better! So she looks at my hair, my skin, and my roots. She points out the mousey grays (thanks for that) and the uneven bangs, and then she begins to work her magic. Somehow she is able to blend them all together, adding highlights and shades of my real hair color, transforming it into something new.
Something real. Still me, but better.
So I find myself bringing these heart-roots to Jesus. I don’t want to ignore them, and I don’t want to embrace them. I want to name them, learn from them, and then allow Him to transform them. By adding Light and Truth, He can blend impulsiveness into boldness and change greed into generosity. He can add shades of patience and kindness and humility, transforming my whole character into something better.
Still real, still me, but better.
More like Jesus.