By Annmarie Miles
(From the October - December 2018 issue of VOX)
I have fabulous hair.
No, I really do. Over the years I have bleached it, permed it, bleached it again, coloured it, stripped it. Doesn’t matter what I do, it grows healthy and strong; with a shine you can see your reflection in. It’s the only part of me that I’m happy with.
From the scalp up, I’m almost perfect!
Over the years I’ve had a Mohican, a full head of pillar-box red spikes, and my favourite was jet-black long spikes, with an electric-blue fringe that went to my chin. I’ve never been bothered with fashion, shoes or make-up, but I do like to do my do.
Being a former ‘coiffeuse,’ I was amazed to find so many references to hair when I started to read the Bible.
Absalom’s annual hair cut was such an event that the hair was weighed (2 Samuel), Levitical priests were not to shave their heads (Ezekiel 44), similarly, the vow of the Nazirites (Numbers 6) meant they were never to cut their hair, either. Samson had taken this vow. His strength was found in his hair and the loss of it was his undoing (Judges 16). There is a significance noted when Paul shaved his head in Acts 18, as he also had previously taken a vow of some kind. Proverbs 20:29 talks of the glory of grey hair for the older man. And what woman wouldn’t love to be told, “Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead”? (Song of Songs 4:1)
It gets more complicated when we get to verses such as the ones we find in 1 Corinthians 11. Not so easy to untangle in our 21st Century context. (See what I did there?)
I love being a woman, I’m happy in my femaleness. I’m fortunate not to have been mistreated or disenfranchised in church life. I’m blessed with a husband, who is my Pastor; a man who values, seeks and welcomes my opinion and my involvement in our lives and ministry. I was brought up with a father who was very much the man of the house, and thank God, he did not abuse his position.
I know my place. I’m a child of the Most High, the daughter of a King. Wife and helpmeet to a gem, and sister in Christ to a multitude. I have had a positive experience as a woman in Christ’s church, and I’m saddened that has not been the case for every woman.
I’m not 100% sure how those verses in 1 Corinthians 11 should play out as I do my do. All I know is that the hairs on my head are numbered.
I am woman, hear me blow dry.
Annmarie Miles is originally from Tallaght and now lives in her husband Richard’s homeland, Wales. As well as VOX articles, she writes short stories, and is working on a book about her journey with food, weight gain, weight loss and God. Visit her blog at www.auntyamo.com. On Twitter she is @amowritin