Tim Smith and Your Thoughts: A tale of hair today,gone tomorrow

Pastor Tim Smith from Hele Road Baptist Church in TorquayPastor Tim Smith from Hele Road Baptist Church in Torquay

Announcing the imminent reopening of barbers and hairdressers, alongside pubs and restaurants, Prime Minister Boris Johnson observed in the House of Commons this past week that: “Almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, particularly by me, Mr Speaker!”

Such is the anticipated demand for haircare, many salons are planning to open on the stroke of midnight on Saturday July 4. At least one person I heard about this week has been waiting a whole lot longer than the past three months for an appointment at the barbers.

Vancouver-based Liverpool fan Uke Krasniqi vowed back in 2014 not to have a haircut until his beloved football team lifted the Premier League title. His eager wife, Diana, will now be let loose with the scissors, ‘as soon as I see captain Jordan Henderson lifting the trophy’, said Uke.

However, there are those of us who wonder what all the fuss is about. I waved goodbye to most of my hair years ago and since the March lockdown, my haircare regime has remained the same – five minutes with the hair clippers every two weeks weeks is all my wife needs to keep me looking my best!

Of course, it wasn’t always like this for me; in my early teens I had plenty of flowing golden locks, which didn’t impress my Gran. “Your hair’s too long, get it cut”, I recall her repeatedly saying to me. On one occasion I thought I had the perfect response – “Jesus had long hair” I said to this wonderful lady of great faith. “Yes”, she swiftly responded, “But he kept his clean!”

Although I knew there was nothing in the Bible to support my Gran’s statement, I immediately knew I’d lost the argument and that keeping my mouth shut was the best response.

Actually, if you care to look, you’ll discover that there is more in the Bible concerning hair than you might imagine. In the Old Testament in 2 Kings 2 we find the rather strange incident involving the Old Testament prophet Elisha, who was being given a load of verbal abuse from a gang of youths; “Get out of here, baldy!” they shout at him. The prophet responds by calling down a curse on them, and two bears come out of the woods and maul 42 of those young people.

In contrast to Elisha, we read in the book of Judges about Samson, who had a full head of hair. In fact, he hadn’t had a haircut since he had been born, which was a mark of his devotion to and trust in God. However, reading Samson’s story, especially his dalliances with the deceitful Delilah, serves as a salutary reminder that it’s dangerous for a believer to think they know better than God, trusting in their own strength rather than his, treating their obedience to him flippantly.

In the New Testament, in John chapter 12 whilst Jesus is sharing a meal with friends, one of them, a lady called Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, pours a jar of expensive perfume all over Jesus’ feet. She then wipes the Lord’s feet with her hair. It’s an act of worship; Mary uses the perfume and then her hair to express how much Jesus means to her.

And when Jesus himself in Matthew 10:30, is reminding his disciples about the extent of God the Father’s care and concern for them, he says that “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Think about that. Whether you have a full head of hair or virtually none, this remarkable statement speaks of God’s greatness; he knows things about me that I don’t know myself. And when he made me he took the utmost care, right down to the minutest detail. No wonder King David, in Psalm 139:14 says of God’s creative genius, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.