Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Beautiful Rescue of the Cloth

Of course, Ashunoah isn't crazy about the headwrap, but doesn't mind that I wear it sometimes when he's around...providing that it sort of "goes with" the outfit I'm wearing, if that makes sense. Mostly, I don't wear it when he's around, but sometimes I do if I'm having a particularly "bad hair" day, and he doesn't seem to mind. I'm thankful for his flexibility.

Since I am quite the "part time" head coverer, there is the issue of hair that I must deal with. I recently returned to a "perm" (makes black women's hair straight, not curly) earlier this year, but then this summer, decided to go back to natural/naptural (that is, not continuing to perm, but letting my hair return to its natural/kinky state). This can be quite the process and I am less than patient. As my hair grows, I continue snipping the ends until all the perm is out. My hair grows pretty fast, and last night I was found snipping, snipping, snipping. I still have a little bit of perm left on the ends, but the blonde highlights are gone and my hair is now all dark again, save the gray hairs that are popping through more and more!

Right now, I am sporting a small afro, which just works for practical reasons. For one, hubby likes the afro on me...he likes the softness of it and likes to touch it often. Secondly, it's simple for me. I wash, I go. Why should I take a ton of time twisting, flattening, setting, rolling, taking out twists (for a crimped afro) when most of the time my hair is covered most of the day (till hubby gets home)?! It's just simpler. I can think of a ton of other things I could do with my day as opposed to spending hours working on my hair. For me, it's just one less thing to think about. I like covering, hubby likes the afro. Both work and are pretty simple. I've had longer hair for a good part of my life, but I think I'm okay with having short hair for a while. One of the most attractive aspects of headcovering is that it frees me from much concern about my hair.

Frees me from vanity, too. When my hair was newly permed (earlier in the year), I'd had blonde highlights and people would often stop me to tell me how beautiful my hair was. When I turned, it moved. It was bouncy and full of body and got a lot of attention. Probably too much for my own good. I'd actually thought about cutting it all off while it was still in it's "glorious" state just to remove myself from all those compliments and all that rave "attention". I am not my hair. But I do want to live faithfully, with humility and quiet grace and submission to the Lord.

I was thinking earlier today about the figurative and literal significance of covering. I have not been a perfect Christian, and I've certainly not been a perfect wife. Even as a Christian wife, I've done things that I am ashamed of. Things I don't want to talk about. Though I have repented with sorrow and have turned from these things, covering is, for me, a new beginning. Now I can be the wife I should have been long ago. I can wear a symbol of my faith on my head and body. I can walk away from former temptations and say, "That was before the cloth". Both figuratively and literally covering has rescued me. I am covered literally and now belong only to my God and to my family; I don't subscribe to the things I once did...I am no longer led astray by them (let this be a proclamation). And I am covered figuratively from my sin and the things I have been ashamed of. I am hidden with God, through Christ Jesus. Of course, this was true long before the cloth...this was true at my salvation experience. But now, it is though I experience these things anew, and experience them as never before. Even well-meaning Christians need a new beginning sometimes. I don't think I knew how much I needed one, until now.

But there are still things I battle with...more to come later on that. Right now, the boys need breakfast.

Enjoy your day, dear ones...

God's grace...

3 comments:

Rosheeda said...

I just love love love this blog, M!Part of why I went natural was to shake some of my vanity and to really learn to love me as the Lord does - to embrace His standard and not my own. It is so so cool watching your journey unfold.

Muhala Akamau said...

Ro,
If the journey looks as crazy as it feels, I should keep you amuzed!!:)

It's crazy, but my hubby's grandmother is SO opposed to my being 'natural'. She is from the old school (as is my mom), that your hair should be "done" (that is to say permed, straightened or otherwise chemically altered. Unless, of course, you have "good" hair. --- how I hate that term! Natural hair just doesn't look 'done'!) My mom-in-law supports it, though, and there are many many days that I am so thankful for her! Thanks so much for your kind words. It feels better knowing I'm not alone in this!

Rosheeda said...

Girl my dad asked me over the weekend if he could perm my hair - or bribe my beautician into doin so. I was like - dude it's been 2 or 3 years now. I think old people are just wierd sometimes. My grandma loves it natural - but my daddy's mom would probably tell me to get it done if she were living. What a mess!

There is something extremely beautiful about a woman who embraces her uniqueness - including her hair;I love to see it and I bet your 'fro ROCKS!!!