Costume Contests on the Way!

by lopc

Categories: Youth Ministry

Tomorrow at YOW and Sunday at BTW we have costume contests going on for Halloween. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been thinking about my costume this year for a couple months, and have been growing out a beard in preparation. However, I only need to keep my mustache for it. Once my 9th grade small group found out about this, the adventure of dyeing the beard was set in motion.

So, this past Sunday, with spray-dye in hand, we set about the task of beard coloration.

Beard Prepped

And I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the cleanest process ever. Spray on dye, I’m pretty sure, was not intended for beards. It may not really be intended to ‘work’ all that well. It did, however, bead up when in contact with my beard, which may in fact be made from Gore-tex.

The Spray On Dye

So the end product was something of an orange-tinted version of my normal beard, with a lot of mess running down my neck and shirt. Fortunately Tommy thought to spray my head as well, resulting in a bit of a pumpkin look on the old chrome dome, or the kind of orange skin tone only heretofore achieved by Snookie.

Spray On Dye, Doing the Best It Can

And yes, that is dye on my shirt, and not the result of a fist fight.

To make a theological point here, I want to mention that I thought about keeping the orange beard for a couple days, until I shaved for my Halloween costume. But right when I got home and saw that a glorious orange beard wasn’t exactly the best description for what was happening on my face, I knew it was a short-lived experiment. The spray-on dye is supposed to wash out. “Supposed to”.

And it isn’t that it didn’t wash out. Orange definitely came out. But after that my beard felt stiff… and almost sticky. It was gross. After adding something that was supposed to be just temporary, I feel like there were permanent changes I didn’t expect. Yes, the color was gone, but a beard I had known for about 2 months just wasn’t the same.

I thought it would go away on it’s own so I decided to sleep on it. But the next morning things were still different. So, with a steady hand, I did what had to be done. Sometimes you have to cut your losses. Sometimes the only way to change is to get to the root of the problem and start over. And what did I find when I got rid of the beard? Orange hair dye. Not in the beard but on my skin, underneath the beard. I doubt any amount of washing would have gotten down deep enough to get rid of that. It turns out, if I didn’t want dye on my skin for the next few days, I had to shave the beard. I had to get down underneath the surface and address what was going on.

This isn’t the perfect analogy – is God the razor that allows you to get there, is Jesus the water that washes things truly clean, do Christ’s actions get below the surface and allow cleansing in the first place – but I will say this: sometimes it feels good to let something go when it prevents you from seeing what is really going on underneath. It feels good to expose sin. It is freeing. It allows you to do the work of cleaning things up.

  • I like those attempts at theological analogies! Keep working on them.

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