A Samson Moment

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Yesterday I was having a Samson moment. Because of some stuff happening in my life right now, I was feeling shorn of power, shorn of favor, and shorn of identity. Like Samson, it was mostly a situation brought on by my own arrogance and/or stupidity, but also like Samson, there was a certain amount of betrayal involved.

So what did I do?

I cut off my beloved long hair of course. I’m an English major: I believe in symbolism. Today I am more tame, more owned, perhaps more humble (though that’s always a stretch), but hopefully also more dependent on God now than on my own abilities or the judgments of others.

P.S. Telling me that my “new” haircut looks better than my “old” one would *NOT* be the appropriate (or kind) thing to say.


Comments

A Samson Moment — 4 Comments

  1. It took me years to realize that there is a pattern in my life: I have cut my hair every time I have a major life shift/trauma. I’m just wondering, though, wasn’t the long hair a GOOD thing for Samson and didn’t cutting it symbolize a break from faithfulness?

  2. As a fellow longhair, I grieve whatever circumstances led to your cut.

    I began growing out my hair in my early 30s, which surprised some people. I didn’t know how it would go over with the congregation I was serving at the time. Then one of the “little old ladies” told me how much she liked it, so I kept growing it.

    My hair was down to my shoulder blades when I *had* to cut it. My ten-month old son was yanking it unmercifully. I grieved deeply.

    My daughter was a year old when I began growing out my hair again. I had been “shorn” for three years and was serving a church in a military community. It took them about 4 or 5 months to realize that I was actually growing it out and hadn’t simply forgotten to get it cut. Most people were fine with it. A few were downright obnoxious. There had been problems in that church for decades (as the EP warned me before I became their pastor), but those obnoxious few made my hair into a major issue. I took a lot of hell from them, but I refused to cut my hair. Two folks from COM even suggested I cut my hair, and I said, “No. They’ll simply do what they’ve always done and latch on to something else to fight about. This isn’t about my hair. It’s about their desire to control everyone else in the church.”

    When I came to my present pastorate my hair was nearly to my elbows, always kept neat and clean. I had to cut it back twice, finally up to my shoulders, because of damage from too much chlorine in the water supply. Once again, I grieved, but I found better haircare products. Now it’s past my shoulder blades.

    What those who aren’t longhairs don’t realize is that being a true longhair is a calling. It is as much a matter of the spirit as it is of the body. I didn’t heed this call until I was well into adulthood, but now that I have, I realize that I’ve been a longhair my whole life.

    Funny, isn’t it, how God made things so that, even after the blade has done its worst, your hair starts growing back immediately? Samson figured out that trick. Neal, you’re still a longhair. (It sounds like you are too, Adam.) They can’t take that spiritual essence away from you. Grieve for now, but take hope in the growth God gives your spirit…and eventually your hair.

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