A few days ago most everyone in our household got a haircut — including myself. I stood in front of the only big-enough mirror we have, which happens to be propped up in the bathroom of our schoolhouse. Gleny and Jason perched on the counter beside and behind me, eyes wide.
“I’ve gotta see this!” They were quite impressed that I was going to cut my own hair with nothing more that a pair of scissors and damp curly hair.
As I got near the end of the 5-minute job, I held out a few strands and offered them the scissors, indicating exactly where to cut. It was a fun time.
The following day was not so fun in regards to hair and things of the sort.
Gleny asked me for a certain three-ponytail braid-style hairdo that I do for her frequently, and after executing it well, she reached behind her head, felt how short her ponytail was after I had cut it the day before, and broke down in tears. Frustrated, I said, “Look, you asked me for this hairdo and I did it. If you didn’t want it, you shouldn’t have asked me.”
She threw herself in the hammock on our porch, and shut out the world for a long while, screaming, “I don’t wanna talk right now!” Then she got up, emphatically taking the pony tails out of her hair, and storming across our large front yard like a wild woman with an unruly bob haircut and mismatched clothes.
I watched her through the window as I continued working on some project on the wooden table in our living room. Bitterness creeped into my heart as I justifiably thought, How ungrateful. She better not go crying to Jenae and ask her to re-do the hairdo I just did. I have half a mind to go over there and chew her butt.
Go tell her that you love her.
What? God’s voice whispering through my tempestuous conscience. Yes, that would be very sweet, but she doesn’t deserve that. Maybe next time, when I’m not so bothered. Why is she crying anyway? Her hair looked fine!
Go tell her that you love her.
I paced, entering our small, cave-like bathroom, searching for some reasonable excuse not to obey what I couldn’t deny was a direct order from God to my hardened heart.
I couldn’t find an excuse, so my clenched-fist will surrendered itself, falling into the bent posture that it frequently fails to maintain.
I then walked directly over to Jenae’s porch a couple hundred yards away where Gleny sat, hair tragically disheveled, legs pulled up to her chest as the wooden rocking chair supported her in her despair.
When she realized I was coming for her and not just to swing by to greet Jenae inside, she sat up uncomfortably, looking at me as if I was about to chew her butt for her extravagant display of unnecessary emotions.
If only she knew.
I got real close — a little too close for a butt-chewing — squatted down so that we were eye-level, and rested my face on my long, crossed arms atop the rocking chair’s armrest. “Gleny? I love you.”
Ok, there, God. I did it. Now I can go.
But I didn’t go. Once you take that initial step of obedience, the next step and the next seem to make more sense.
I reached out and swept her crazy bangs from her sweaty forehead. “What happened, Gleny?”
She stopped crying and we started a genuine conversation that lasted several minutes until I took her hand in mine and we both decided to get up and take a walk.
Later that night after she got out of the shower she came to me and said, “Forgive me, Mom, for complaining today and having a bad attitude.”
I smiled, by now fully in-tune with God’s will for my relationship with this little lion, and said, “Gleny, you’re allowed to be sad. You don’t have to ask forgiveness for that.”