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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Windows

My vanity, at times, keeps me from being humble. This week I struggled with keeping my hair, well let's just say, "controlled". Monday I stopped by a salon that is open later than most. I am scheduled to speak at a women's conference this evening. My thought is, a trim would help control the mess I have allowed to consume my head. I have visited this place before and I have never left with the outcome I have desired, so why did I think today would be different? My daughter, Keila has told me never to get my hair done at the same place I buy bananas. Obviously, I'm not a good listener. When the cosmetologist is finished trying to control my hair the left side is 3 inches shorter than the right side. I leave thinking, "well its better than what I came in with". My thought as I leave "well maybe a shower will fix the unevenness". Well guess what, it doesn't!

I have two hours before I go on stage and I am prepared to speak out of Isaiah 61 and Matthew 25:31. I am thankful that the focus will be on Gods heart and not on my hair but for right now the focus is 100% on my hair and the concern I have is on my appearance. I use about 100 bobby pins to fix my hair just so. For the moment I am thankful that I will not have to go through a metal detector. As I drive to the church I take longer than normal at every stop sign, just so I can pull down my visor and make another attempt at fixing my hair. I park at the church and yes one last attempt at fixing my do. Finally, I find myself on stage ready to share Gods heart. I open my mouth and the first thing out of my mouth is my "hair-do mishap". Apparently God seems to offer many opportunities to keep me humble.

So stress isn't something I play with often but in the days to follow it would consume me. I would go back to the same salon to fix my hair (I know what your thinking but time is not something I have extra of) and each time I would leave wearing a more defined mullet. Yes, a mullet and yes I have pictures.

For three days I stressed so much about my appearance that I went to bed with headaches and lost sleep over this mullet hair do. In my mind my need was much greater than anyone I encountered. I had speaking engagements on each of my mullet hair do days. Grateful that my mullet hair do would only last 4 days but they were the longest 4 days of my life. Honestly, my looks took over every other priority that week. My hair is all I could think of. It was an awful feeling and it's something I didn't even notice was consuming me until I went in for my third haircut. My "crisis" totally consumed me. It stressed me in so many ways and I even changed my name to "Joe Dirt".

So now the lesson because there is always a lesson within the chaos. What if I put as much emphasis on helping people in crisis with as much urgency as I dedicated to fixing my hair? Would we win this war on poverty? I sit in the passenger seat looking out my car window but all I see is my reflection. I do not see the world but rather my "Joe Dirt" hair-do. So lets focus on looking out the window rather than on our physical appearance and we might just do away with some of this unwanted vanity. This week I was reminded that vanity has a way of hindering you from seeing what's important. If we don't make it a point to look out the window we wont see the need, we won't see the hurt, and we won't see the hopelessness in the world.

While in Borger this week consumed with my self a friend of mine put things into perspective for me. As a man he couldn't of known that I was battling with my vanity. So I took it as a word directly from God. This man doesn't go through life self consumed. He spends his time looking out the window. When I look at people I want to see them and not just the package they are in. I don't want to ever focus on the car they drive or the house they live in. I want to focus on the person. It doesn't matter how perfect ones life may seem I know perfection is not attainable on this earth. I understand that we all have need in one way or another regardless of how much money we have or may not have.

Windows

I look at windows differently now.
When I was a child I used to look out of the backseat window at the starched houses with the manicured lawns and ornamental fences and think to myself “I wish I could live in a house like that; I wish I could have that person’s life.” The passing silhouettes that sometimes stopped to pose in those shutter-framed windows seemed more like the subjects of a Rockwell painting than real people, with real lives, and real issues. Other people’s lives look great when viewed from a passing car at 50 miles an hour.
I look at windows differently now.
One day my family’s situation was transformed from poverty to plenty and I found myself living in one of “those” houses. Money may change everything, but be wary of the change. In our house: sobriety was transformed into alcoholism, faithfulness was abandoned for infidelity, trust was replaced by betrayal, whispers were magnified into shouts, kindness was turned into rage, sanity was twisted into madness, and a loving family became just some inhabitants who happened to have the same address. I remember looking out of my bedroom window at the passengers in the cars passing by and thinking to myself “I wish I could go somewhere else... anywhere else... like them... with them; I wish I could have that person’s life.”
I look at windows differently now.
Now that I’m grown, I know that sometimes staring out from behind the fa├žades of starched houses with manicured lawns and ornamental fences are shattered people just trying to pick up the pieces of their lives while somewhere a passerby makes a wish.
C. H. Winters

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