It’s bedtime and she hears me coming. Her words – more measured than panicky – are out before I step in her bedroom.
“Mama, I have a…a…a hair situation.”
I round the corner and walk inside her room and see yes, she does indeed have a hair situation.
The entire front section of her waist-long hair – right above her forehead – is wrapped and wrapped and wrapped around a comb, right up to an inch from her scalp.
She’s jerking at it, but tangled comb remains taunt, not going anywhere. She sees my eyes widen.
Tugging at the comb again, she says,
“I’m so sorry , Mama! I was trying to curl it. But, ya know, I didn’t know I couldn’t curl it with a comb.”
She squeezes her eyes shut, needing to ask the next question but afraid to,
“Are we gonna have to…to cut it out?”
I bite my lip and take hold of the tangled mess. I try to unwind it this way and that, but no can do.
“I don’t know, baby. Hopefully not.”
I work with it and work with it but get nowhere. David comes in from outside, asks what’s the matter. I point to the rat’s nest in my hand, and after watching me work with it a bit, he asks if he can give it a go. I hand it over with the detangler spray.
He massages detangler into a small section, tries to unwind the end. He’s making as little progress as I did. I just don’t see any way around cutting her hair, so I’m already trying to figure out a new hairstyle for her. My thoughts are off and running:
Maybe super short bangs would work? Somehow? Maybe I can schedule an appointment with my hair gal and she can salvage some sort of decent style…
I lean close to David and whisper real quiet over her head,
“Do you think we need to cut it out?” I cringe just thinking of cutting all that hair so close to the scalp.
He examines the comb more closely and looks up at me,
“Well, would you mind if I cut up the comb?”
I smile real big at this idea, the one I never thought of. Yes! Just maybe that will work!
“Of course not! Cut away!”
David grabs pliers from the toolbox. Tooth by tooth, section by section, he and I take turns removing parts of the comb. And section by section, bit by bit, her hair unwinds. The comb is 50 broken little pieces, but Faith’s hair is intact. It took time and patience, but the hair. was. saved. Hallelujah!
Drama done, I can’t help but laugh at the lesson God sends me through the hairy ordeal. While I gave it a go at untangling the mess, I was ready to throw in the towel and consent to just cutting her hair. From my point of view, it seemed like the only way to free the comb. It seemed the only way to get the desired end result. But David knew a way that would not only free the comb, but do so with the best possible result. True, it took more time and patience, but it was so worth it. The comb was out, the hair was saved.
Sometimes, life is like this. A situation arises, and our thoughts are off and running to the worst case scenerio. We grasp for quick answers. But when we don’t give into the quick fix – when we slow down, examine things for a bit longer, and hang in there for the long haul – we find results that blissfully satisfy more than we could ever imagine.
When all we can see is the hairy ordeal, may we remember to slow down. May we remember to seek God’s wisdom because His plans yield the best results. May we all have the patience to persevere.