What I Cannot Change

The Braiding Impression

Over the weekend, I braid little braids all over my daughter’s wet hair.  In the morning, we unravel her hair.  She loves the “rock star” look.  

Notice the pink sparkle headband.

A simple thing–braiding hair–but oh the joy in the morning when those braids leave impressions all throughout her hair! That zig-zag complexity dries that way and temporarily changes the structure of the hair.

But as soon as she soaks in the bathtub before bedtime, the pattern fades and straightens.  She can’t believe how all that work (and an entire night’s worth of sleeping on braids) dissolves with water.  It doesn’t last.  It can’t.  Her root system, determined by her genetic code, trumps my skillful hand.  

Sometimes the patterns I set are fragile and tenuous, delicate and flimsy.  What seems so fixed and certain dissolves when exposed to environments that test resolve.  But I’m still tempted to believe that all will be well if I just find the right structure, the right pattern, the right technique. 

I can’t fundamentally change my life by new patterns or designs.  I suppose my daughter’s braids made me consider the limits of external applications to change internal dilemmas.  I need to get to the root, allow for God’s transforming work, and experience the kind of fundamental change that goes beyond clever techniques for happiness.  That kind of change won’t dissolve in water. 

Living with flair means I don’t limit happiness to external work.  I want the kind of mood change that’s deeply rooted, deeply true. 

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0 Responses

  1. What a great analogy, Heather. When I read this I thought of how those little things we do in our lives every day can glorify God. It's just like our book club post…it's the particulars that stick, not the generalities. The little things.

  2. Funny you post this this week… I gave my daughter a sweet bob haircut last week — the perfect short cut for a rowdy 4-year old.

    She taught me that life is nothing but change when I went upstairs yesterday to find her in her room, a pile of hair at her feet, and a very punk, very altered hair style on her head, replete with bald spots and hair standing up.

    Funny thing, the punk look suits her much better.

    🙂 🙂