Last night as I got into my bed, I found a large clump of hair. I could tell it was Kayla's, my 6 year old daughter's, by the light blonde color. It scared me as I wondered where on earth it could have come from, if it had fallen out or was so weak that it was breaking, and what this could mean about her health. She's been sick and has been sleeping in our bed. I tried to not freak out... but it was a lot of hair.
Then this morning I took one look at her and did a double take as I realized... she's cut it. I asked her in shock if indeed she had done the deed, and her sweet little face crumpled as she ran into my arms and wept. I asked her why she would do such a thing, and she mumbled something through her tears about wanting a certain style. Then I asked her what she had done with the hair, thinking she would admit to hiding it in my bed. She proceeded to take me around the house and show me other places where she had hidden clumps of her beautiful blonde hair.
I kept my cool as we got ready this morning, and I put the remaining hair on her head into a strange sort of bun. But once I dropped the kids at school, my heart started turning on itself. What kind of a mother am I, to let this happen? How could I not have noticed it last night? What would her teachers and friends think? What would the other moms think? In my weary and angry place, I took my failure to God. I told Him that every time I look at her now, it's going to be a visible reminder of how I am a BIG FAT FAILURE as a mom.
And then, His kind and gentle voice responded to me.
Is that really what you want to think when you look at her?
What do you want to think about when you look at her? Is she ugly to you now? Do you love her less?
I love her completely. She's beautiful. She will always be beautiful.
What if, instead of letting her hair be a reminder of your own failure, you allow it to be a reminder of your unconditional love for her? And then... maybe you allow it to be a reminder of MY unconditional love for YOU? I don't see you as ugly when you make foolish choices, or when you have a mommy-fail. You're still beautiful to me.
Well by then I was a puddle of tears in my car. I had done a double take on my own perspective. I had almost taken a turn into the land of the cursed, allowing brokenness to dictate my value, to prove the lack of my own worth. But that's not a place for the Beloved children of God to visit, is it? There is blessing. There is blessing even in the broken and ugly places. And those places allow us reminders to see what we have been all along... BELOVED.
I'm grateful today for the double takes. The ones that hurt, that allow us to see our brokenness. When we do, I hope our faces crumble, and that we run, arms open, into the arms of our Father, just as little Kayla did into mine. And in those arms... I hope we receive the unconditional love He offers us.
Be blessed today, church. That is the land where you live.