Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gray Hair. The Honorable Crown of Righteousness

           "So, would you or would you not want a good friend to tell you if you had gray hair? Like do you want to know, IF you did, or not?"
          These words were spoken to me last week by one of my best friends from high school ... Hence, the start of this gray topic.
            Youth is all I have ever known. I've looked young, (because I am small,) and act young … but I don’t know why. I simply have never felt like a grown up.
          Things are changing. The evolution has begun …
In one way, it has been a slow fade; yet in another, I feel like I woke up from sleep one morning and noticed a stranger’s reflection in the mirror. For example, my grandmother died 14 years ago; yet, I see her when I look at my hands. HER hands are now on my body, complete with the brown spots delicately faded into thinning skin. All I’m missing are the purple bruises, similar to an apple or banana that fell to a hard surface or sat somewhere too long.
          I can’t help but think:
The skin on elbows, knees and necks … that is not pretty.
How can a wrinkle look like a scar? A scar of age, I suppose.
Jowls? What the h*** are jowls and how do they simply become part of me?
Where did my butt go? It’s like it fell.
20/20 vision, PLEASE come back! Small print is not my friend.
And gray hair?! Seriously?!

Sure, I had noticed a gray hair or two here and there. Not to mention, that is what I do all day and has been my profession for 23 years. I color gray hair. One would think I would be prepared since I am surrounded by its existence and it is a reality in my world.
No. Not the case … It caught me by surprise, somehow.
Hosea 7:9 Foreigners are using up your strength, but you don't realize it. You have become a grey-haired, old man, but you don't realize it.
I hear that. Makes sense to me now.

Last night I sat on my countertop until 1:30 am in an approximate 2 hour rendezvous that turned into an obsessive addiction. I plucked hairs until I had a white/gray bouquet of hair beside me, like a grandmother-looking wig. They were everywhere; shiny, white hairs … AKA: My “crown of righteousness.”
Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”
Oh yay … I must be doing something right?

Proverbs 20:29 gets even better, “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.”
"Splendor” and “Old.”

Isaiah 46:3-4, I have cared for you since you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age.”
So is He done with me? Am I on my own now that my hair is white with age?

Yes, last night is when I officially crossed over into adulthood. I am a grown up and have reached acceptance on a newfound level. I thought I was grown when I graduated high school. Then again when

I got married, bought a car and a house, had children, flew on a plane, opened a business, got a divorce, wrote a book … and a few other times throughout my life, but this is different.
I knew it was coming last week when my children and I cleaned out my closet. There were clothes in my wardrobe that are still in style, but I had to pass them down to the teenage daughters who are my size, minus the look of 39 years. The short shorts left along with the t-shirts that had cute sayings on them. Other moms don’t wear them and I haven’t worn them in awhile. They had to go.
It won’t be long and I will be looking at swimsuits with a skirt in lieu of my stringy little 2 pieces. I must prepare my psyche; BUT, I'm not there yet!
There is a fine line within the concept of “growing old gracefully.” I hope to never surrender to a birthday number, a gray hair or wrinkle, but I also do not want to live in denial or the past. A gorgeous beauty lies within one who has balance with age and appearance. In a strong way, I see more beauty in such a person than in youth itself. There is something about a person who has maturity, wisdom and experience. The calmness and security I find most attractive cannot be obtained by a man (or woman, for that matter) in his 20’s, because he has not “been there and done that.” He’s going there and gonna do it … and then will have gray hair and be ripe … That’s my preference. (Well, not out of my generation “ripe.”)
Job 15:10, “The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father.”
Seemingly, I am part of “our.” The gray haired club welcomes me and I welcome others. I breath a sigh of sadness as I kiss some, (not all,) of my youth good-bye … while simultaneously breathing a sigh of relief as I kiss it good-bye; thankful for the parts that are behind me and do not have to be learned a second time. The parts which earned me the gray hairs I will soon cover with hair color so I will not be bald from more plucking incidents.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-3
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, ‘Life is not pleasant anymore.’ Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants {that’s a unique way of looking at teeth}—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.” (NLT)

          It is kind of cool to have the hands of time stopped for me long enough to realize that I am in the youth of my old age, gaining appreciation, recognition, thankfulness and new levels of understanding. Some things I wanted to know, others I did not.
           It is a struggle to see someone after 20 years and not recognize him/her due to the effects of aging. I loathe it. But more humbling than that is to see someone after 20 years and not BE recognized. Time marches on. Thank God there's more to this life that really matters.

1 comment:

  1. That was GREAT!
    Pickers and Pluckers ... we go from 'zits' to 'gray hairs':o)
    Love Ya♥