Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
TITLE: Dyeing To Fit In
By Lisa Keck
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“It’s the truth.” My mother replied. “Poor Becky had orange hair.” Becky, whose name I’ve changed here in the retelling of this story, was a classmate of my mother. She was also an albino with white porcelain skin and white hair. The white might pass for the popular platinum blonde nowadays but back then it wasn’t cool. Becky wanted to have dark hair like all of her friends. Even in those days, fitting in at high school was critical. So Becky bought some dye and had a friend help her. She didn’t ask her mother’s permission. Maybe if she had she would have been warned that an albino’s hair does not take dye properly. All she could do was let her hair grow out and then cut off the orange evidence of her foolishness. Well she could also hide under a hat or scarf.
As I reflect back now on this story I can’t help but wonder if Becky read the Bible. It’s filled with affirmations of being, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” “God’s workmanship,” “knit together in my mother’s womb” and so on. Should we mess with that? Now of course there are such things as birth defects and disease which need to be remedied, if it’s within our power. But you see, it was not within that young girl’s power to change her hair color. What was in her power to change was her attitude. Tough as it would be, she could have chosen to accept the cards dealt her and walk with her platinum head held high amongst a sea of dark headed boys and girls. But self esteem is so fragile at that age.
Another thought occurs to me about fitting in. I can’t help but wonder if we try to do that with the world. I think the difference between being a Christian and not being one should be as evident as platinum hair versus brunette. But so often non believers are good people and Christians are just cruising, not going the extra mile in service to their God so that side by side they look the same. I don’t know, maybe it’s the subtle lies of Satan or just not being encouraged to live outrageously and shine for Jesus but there’s a sea of sameness in this world that we need to break out of. We need to lift our “cleansed white as snow” selves up out of the mire and be a light in the darkness.
Becky never did try to dye her hair again. Not because she was satisfied with not fitting in but because she knew the consequence and having orange hair, even for a short time was worse than the way she was born. What about you? Have you accepted the cards you’ve been dealt? Or are you living with the consequences of trying to fix something you had no power to fix. Jesus doesn’t want you to be ashamed, hiding under hats and scarves. He wants you to live boldly and He’s ready to help you play your hand (of cards) if you’ll just let Him.
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