My last couple of blog posts have been covering some serious, reflective, intercession-stirring kind of topics.
So here's a pre-read warning of a different kind… THIS blog post will be of a NON-serious, NON-reflective, (probably) NON-emotionally stirring kind of read.
But it will hopefully entertain you.
As it did me. And my friend Ayumi, when I told her about my humorous *ordeal* over lunch the other day.
We may have actually laughed so hard that we *cough* drew attention to ourselves in a restaurant…
When potentially-embarrassing-situations occur in my life, I have to confess that I am often struck with two simultaneous-thoughts:
1) How is it possible that someone who got a First in her degree can actually be so incredibly stupid?
2) Oh well, at least it will make a good blog post…
These things are humbling. And funny.
Most of all funny.
So rewind with me if you will to Thursday. Thursday morning. At approximately 8am. When I was thinking that the autumn wind has been making my hair a little dry. And thinking that I could really do with a hair cut/hair treatment/hair moisture-pack/ hair-something….
But, you know. I live in Japan. Where my particular hair and the particular hair-care that my frizzy-decidedly-ginger hair requires is hard to come by. And going to the hairdressers here is quite frankly an ordeal that traumatizes everyone involved way too much… (Quote hairdresser: 'Yes, we cut gaijin hair, but your particular gaijin hair is terrifying…')
Which is why, for what ever reason possessed my 8am brain, I decided to home-make a hair mask.
I know, I know… Don't judge me hairdresser friends.
It honestly seemed like a super-good idea at the time.
Now, I wasn't a total moron… I have made homemade hair care options in the past. I kind of figured that I knew what I was doing.
Anyway, on Thursday I Pinterested (yes, I have discovered Pinterest!) autumn-hair-masks and took my pick. Take a banana, an egg, some honey and some olive oil… Stick it together in a blender, make sure it's pretty smooth, and leave it on your hair for 20 minutes before rinsing out.
Well, except that I don't have a blender.
Which is no biggy right? I mean, you just mush everything up super good in a bowl and figure that it can't be that different, or get stuck in your hair like super glue, or take 5 washes and an hour of your life to get out? Right?
WRONG!! Oh boy, so unbelievably wrong that I would say that I have rarely been wronger about anything in my entire 29 year existence.
This stuff did NOT autumn-proof my hair. I probably lost more hair in the banana-freeing process than I have naturally in the last month.
I did however make what I think would be a valuable and very effective natural form of household glue. Glue that should never-ever-in-any-uncertain-terms-be-put-near-hair.
Consequently I was still finding bits of banana in my hair (did I mention the FIVE washes?!) hours later, and resorted to wearing my rather fetching autumn hat to lunch with the unsympathetic-but-highly-amused-Ayumi and my afternoon classes. Because I had severe self-consiciousness that I would never truly be banana-free again.
It's the stuff. Of. Banana. Nightmares.
I think our struggle with sin and our journey-to-become-more-like-Jesus is often a bit like my hair mask.
We even sometimes have the best intentions. But our human nature and our sinful desires and the prideful-parts of us that say, 'Don't tell me what to do. I'll do whatever I want. I know best!' ultimately mean that we end up stuck in the gluey-tarlike-substance of sin that sticks to our emotions, our actions and our memories and tarnishes everything.
Now, I believe in the beautifying and perfecting forgiveness and work of Jesus. I really do.
I've given my whole life and my whole hope for the fact that grace is true.
I believe that in an instant everything dark in us is made clean and that everything can be changed.
But still… Sometimes it feels like we have to go through 5 washes and a blow-dry and still we're a hot mess.
You get me?
My testimony, like all of our testimonies, involves some messy-kind-of-redemption. Well, the redemption isn't messy because God is the perfect One who runs that show… But the mess… That's messy. When I talk about the rescue of my Heavenly Father and the transformation of Holy Spirir, it means I have to be real about abuse and divorce and being saved from a depression so black I didn't think I'd ever see the sunrise again. It means I talk about failure. And rejection. And freaking out when I should be standing strong. And getting so many things wrong before I start to get then right. It means I admit that I get scared sometimes. That I don't have the answers most of the time and that the only good in me is that which Jesus so patiently plants and grows and waters.
But then I remember the grace thing again.
The Grace Thing.
Because it's not real grace if you don't really get what it is you've been rescued from.
But real grace is the costly grace that pays for our sin, presents the beautifying Gospel and changes everything.
It changes. Everything.
Even in the process of growing, in the messiness of life, in the learning to not only be forgiven but also to forgive, Holy Spirit is so faithful. So kind. So true. He gentles holds my hair back and rinses another lot of water through and says, 'Listen to the truth I speak and hold onto it this time…'
His kindness leads us to repentance.
His patience is exquisite.
So the journey is sometimes long and yet beautifyingly long, hard and yet purifyingly hard, and tough but yet being-refined in the toughness of it all.
And as I considered the difficulties of getting my hair clean… I couldn't help but be thankful that He took a life way more dirty and made it white as snow.
There are so many people on my heart in prayer as I write these words. One name in particular who I so deeply pray hears the gentle voice of the a Father calling them home.
Because He can take anything and make it beautiful.
…. And the real moral of this story people?
Bananas are for eating. Bake them in cakes. Melt chocolate in them. Use them to liven up your bran flakes.
But don't be a moron like me and put them on your head.
I mean, when you type it out in black and white, you know that it's going to end disasterously.
Oh, and on Monday I'm playing live music at Dog of Flanders in Susukino… So if you're Sapporo-based then head on down at 9pm for a combination of worship, covers and some of my stuff! 🙂 This is me synthing-out the set list the other day…
(Note I was still wearing a hat a whole day later please.)