“Why did I even start this? Why? Why? Why?”
I was reprimanding my reflection in the mirror. One third of my hair was curled and the rest was straight. I looked at the curling iron in dismay. I never did know how to use that thing! That is why I rarely attempt to curl my hair. Why did I think I should do it today, when I was already running late for the Women’s Encounter at church, the one time during the year that I can leave my busy household behind and seek God with hundreds of kindred spirits?
I had gotten my hair cut a few days ago…six inches of dry, damaged ends gone! I felt like a new woman! The hair dresser curled my hair and said, “This is the way they are styling it these days.” I looked at myself in the mirror and thought the curls looked a little haphazard and choppy.
“I’ll go home and fix it the way I like it, and it will be fine,” I thought to myself.
But when I arrived home I got quite a reaction from my children.
“I like it!” my teenage daughter said, and she made me think that I certainly must look trendy!
“You look pretty, mommy,” my boys said, and they almost never comment on my appearance!
My husband also gave my compliments that night, so I felt that the curls must really be something special.
Before the Women’s Encounter I had washed my hair and dried it with a circular brush as usual. It looked really nice that way, straight and shiny. But was it as cute as the curls that had earned so much praise from my family? Probably not!
So I began to try and recreate what the hairdresser had done.
I was doing a horrible job on my hair! I was supposed to be at the church early to greet the women coming in the doors, and here I was, still at home with part of my hair in awful curls. I had no time to wet it down and blow dry it out again. I had to just finish the curling.
“Why, oh why did I start this mess? My hair looked just fine before!”
I couldn’t stop, so I proceeded to curl and spray, curl and burn myself, curl and mutter and groan, curl and get mad at myself (and anyone else who entered the bathroom)…and curl some more.
Finally I had a head full of funky, crispy curls. This was not “me” at all! They looked weird, but I didn’t dare run my hand through them for fear of disrupting the delicate hold of the hairspray and make it worse.
I rushed to gather my things. My family could tell I was grumpy and tried to encourage me, but I wasn’t having it! I rushed into the van and drove the five minutes to church. I didn’t get to participate in the preservice prayer that would have most certainly centered my thoughts on Jesus. I should have been praying for all the women attending! I should have been there early to greet some of them. But I had been too vain and concerned about my appearance to listen to the voice of reason that said;
“Put the curling iron down!”
Because I arrived at the church so late, I couldn’t find a parking spot. I had to park all the way in the overflow lot which was quite a hike from the church. I slammed the van door and started trudging up the hill, mad at myself. It was unseasonably cold that April night, but I had stubbornly worn my new flip-flops because I wanted to feel “comfortable.” Now I was freezing my little pink toenails off!
I got halfway up the hill when I realized that I had left my phone in the van! I had to walk all the way down and all the way back up again, madder than before.
Finally I got into the sanctuary. Worship had been going on for a half an hour already. The room was darkened and the colored lights around the stage were flashing with the music. It was packed full of women from front to back. Where was I going to sit? Thankfully someone had saved me a seat up front. I set all my stuff down and turned my heart to the Lord.
“I am so sorry that I am so imperfect!” I said to God. My faults flashed in my mind, and I was getting ready to repent of them one by one when…
I felt Jesus rush in and give me a hug! I couldn’t even begin to list what I had done wrong before He said to me, “I am so glad that you are here! I love you! All that you are worried about doesn’t matter.”
What an amazing feeling to be so loved by the Creator of the universe! I tried my best to quiet my thoughts and just soak in His embrace. The worship team was singing about supernatural love, over and over again. This was a supernatural love! I marveled at this love that could allow a perfectly holy God to come down and embrace imperfect humanity.
How was He able to draw so close to me? Then my thoughts turned towards something the pastor had said the Sunday before. He was referring to a burial shroud traditionally thought to be the actual one that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body when He was laid in the tomb. It showed that He had been covered with blood from head to toe; that precious blood that allowed God to come and dwell with and around and INSIDE of us! If we believe in that blood and accept it, He no longer has to withhold Himself!
The blood of Jesus that had covered Him from head to foot now covers me from head to foot! He has made me holy! There is nothing I can do that His blood can’t cover if I will let it.
In the midst of a grumpy, “bad hair” day…or in the midst of a no-good, awful “from the pit of hell” day…the moment we do one little thing right and turn our hearts to worship God…
God rushes in to embrace us and fill us to overflowing with His beautiful presence.
I still don’t understand this.
It is simply supernatural love!