GLORY AND THE LIE
One morning a little while ago, our youngest daughter, Glory, spent a great deal of time getting ready before going out in the morning. Being only seven years old, this is not standard behaviour. Normally, getting downstairs to put together a quick breakfast before starting in on having fun takes precedence over things like matching articles of clothing (including socks), or hair brushing.
That day, though, she was going to be accompanying Mommy to do some errands, including a trip to the hair salon. This signified something momentous in her not-quite-in-grade-two mind, and called for some careful attention to her appearance.
I helped her to take out her braids from the day (or two) before, and brush out the kinks so her little white blonde halo was falling softly in a thousand perfect coils and ridges. I even let her wear a little mascara and lip gloss.
Finally, we were ready to go, and headed out to do the aforementioned errands. The hair stylist was duly impressed with Glory’s efforts, and especially her beautiful hair.
One of the stops on the way home was at a good friend’s house to do a child pick-up (this happens often in our household.) My friend leaned in to the car and we engaged in pleasant dialogue, which at one point included him saying “hello” to Glory and teasing her about her hair.
Now, we adults realize this was all in good fun, and that teasing a kid about their hair is only meant as pure affection.
For Glory, however, it was anything but. The words, “Hey you, what’s going on with your hair back there? It looks like a rat’s nest” was solemnly burned into her conscious awareness of how pretty (or not-so-pretty) she was.
As we walked through the Shopper’s Drug Mart a little while later, she was uncharacteristically quiet and shy. When I crouched down to ask her if she was okay, she said, “I just wanna get out of here. Everyone’s staring at my hair.”
You need to understand something about Glory. She has this particular quality about her that is almost . . . well angelic. Ever since she took her first breath (and even before that, if you ask me) she has been able to capture people’s hearts. Her eyes are big and blue and innocent. And she can make you laugh, even if you started out in a foul mood. She can’t stand for anyone to feel melancholy. It’s like she was born to remind everyone what joy feels like.
So when she looks scared (which doesn’t happen very often) or shy or . . . ashamed. Well, it’s heartbreaking.
I tried to tell her she was stunningly beautiful; that I loved her hair and that what she’d heard was only meant as a joke—just teasing to be funny. She didn’t buy it.
For weeks afterward, she would have waves of shyness and self-consciousness, which we couldn’t seem to help her break free from. She came into my room every morning to ask me to brush her hair and put different clips, elastics, or bands in it. And never quite felt like we’d done enough.
It occurred to me; this is what the lies do. We get fed a lie. The lie drops into the soil of our heart. Then, we spend days, weeks . . . years, either trying to ignore the lie, or trying to prove it wrong. But it never really works, does it? They’re not even that original. It seems like the enemy we face knows what tricks work best and doesn’t even try to get that creative.
“You will always be alone.”
“You are ugly.”
“No one understands you.”
“You are failing.”
“You are not enough.”
“You don’t have any real friends.”
“God is punishing you.”
Sound familiar? I told you he’s not that original. But these lies hit you like a dart in the chest, and they hurt like hell. Not only that, but they threaten to define you. They permeate your relationships and blind you from the truth.
We try to ignore them; pretend we don’t hear them. We try to prove them wrong, working so hard to succeed; to lose weight; to surround ourselves with friends; to be understood.
And after another long, hard day’s work, we lie down on our pillows and, just before sleep takes us we hear the whisper, “Your hair looks like a rat’s nest.“
There can only be one solution to this. And even though it is powerful and life-changing and full of redemptive and restorative potential, it also seems unoriginal and too easy to work.
Remove the lie.
I met someone a long time ago. Near the beginning of my life. He is ancient and wise, loving and strong. He sees me and he sees you, and he sees all of those debilitating lies. And more to the point, he has the power to remove them forever.
It’s not even complicated, although it takes courage.
It’s simple, although it does take time to walk it out.
Are you ready? Find a quiet place. Maybe ask a friend or two to help, if you want. Ask HIM (and by “HIM” I mean the Healer) to show you what the lie is. When did it come in? At what moment in your young life, did your enemy serve up this little seed? When you see it—when you hear it come in, in that memory; in that moment—ask HIM to tell you what the truth is. Offer him the lie and take the truth in its place.
Breathe it in. Accept it into your reality. And reject the lie.
In the hours and days to come, when you identify the Lie trying to weasel its way back into your consciousness (or subconsciousness), reject it. Repeat the truth. Live inside of the truth.
Last week, Paul sat Glory on his lap and whispered to her, “Hunny, would you like Jesus to take that lie away from you about your hair?”
“Yes, Daddy,” she answered. “I want him to take it away.”
Your Daddy in heaven is asking you the same question today, and every day of your life. “Sweetheart, do you want me to take that lie away from your heart? To replace it with the truth?”
My answer to him today and any day he asks me that question is, “Yes!”
What is your answer?
It was for freedom that Christ has set us free.
And he who the Son has set free is free indeed!