July 25th 2014 (4) comments so far
There has been a lot of conflict in the Communications office the past month or so. Unfortunately, I’ve been the cause of it. I did not go into this endeavor wanting to stir up controversy, but battle lines have been drawn over my choice. To be fair, I had no idea this lifestyle would be such an incendiary matter.
Since the middle of January, I have been growing a beard. Considering it is the middle of summer, I will let your imagination run wild on the state of my face. While it may be long, that doesn’t mean it isn’t well maintained (though others in the Communications office do not agree with this statement). Stragglers are trimmed and the hair’s boundaries are well established, no Pau Gasol neckbeard situation going on here. It is shampooed and combed daily and also conditioned once a week.
A beard is a versatile piece of equipment. It is perfectly suited to the lifestyle of an outdoorsman, protecting our face from driving snow, biting mosquitoes, and marauding bears. On the other hand, pairing it with a smart sport coat gives the owner a distinguished look at any social occasion. It lets other men in the room know that, yes, I have wrestled an alligator into submission before, but I also enjoy reading Hemingway as much as the next guy.
Being at a church, you would think manes of manliness would be more readily accepted. However, many coworkers of mine have expressed…let’s call it discontent…at my feat of follicles. (Disclaimer: In the interest of fairness, I should elaborate that it is not the presence of my beard that is upsetting my coworkers, merely the length and look.) Unfortunately, the daily browbeating became too much for even my glorious beard to withstand, and I finally got a trim.
However, with a little research, we see my lawn of face grass has scriptural support.
Leviticus 19:27 says You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. (Fun fact: Leviticus also tells you what to do in case a lizard falls into your clay pot so there’s that).
In Judges, God tied Samson’s strength into his hair. In Judges 13:5, an angel tells Samson’s parents You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines. God chose to mark Samson as dedicated to Him by long hair, and last time I checked a beard is made of hair. So imagine one of the Duck Dynasty guys’ heads on a Randy “Macho Man” Savage body. That’s who God chose to be His instrument. Come to terms with that if you can.
Many biblical figures also sported beards. Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Joseph, Noah, Job, Elijah, and Paul are just a few of the Good Book’s hairy heroes.
Aaron must have had a particularly righteous beard because his gets a special mention in Psalm 133:1-2. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!
Furthermore, I have never seen a depiction of Jesus where He’s devoid of at least some facial hair. Of course, no one has a photograph of Jesus, but one million stained glass windows cannot be wrong, right?
My point is this: Some of God’s greatest instruments sported beards. Our culture has ousted the beard as acceptable in polite society. It is time we recognize its place in the foundation of our faith and allow men to emulate biblical greats. (Second disclaimer: This is meant to be a humor piece. While beards are always a great choice, they may not be a great choice for everyone.)
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