Home Forums Noticings… 200701 – Back To Normal

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    July 1, 2020

    I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow. Like everyone else it will be the first time in almost 4 months. In this extended period of shagginess I rediscovered waves and curls that I had long ago forgotten. With the warm weather I’ve been driving with my car windows down and experiencing the glorious sensation of having one’s hair blowing around in the wind. Every stop sign and red light became a frantic attempt to bring order out of chaos as I desperately tried to finger-comb my mop back into some semblance of presentability, only to have it blow wild again upon moving. (Yes, I know that vanity is one of the 7 deadly ones. Guilty!) I’ll miss that windy sensation.

    Strangely, I’m feeling weird about getting my hair cut. Hesitant. I will wear a mask, and the stylist will take the necessary precautions, and everything will be fine – that’s not what I’m feeling odd about. I keep getting images of Samson. He was blessed by God with great strength as long as he didn’t cut his hair. Strength is not at issue here, but I have this peculiar sense that my hair has become symbolically powerful for me. I know it’s irrational, but I keep thinking that if I cut my hair I’m somehow signalling that I think this season of pandemic challenge is over. It isn’t! The desire to rush ‘back to normal’ is powerful, and misguided – perhaps tragically so. Long, floppy, unruly hair is a constant reminder that things are not normal. If I cut it will I forget? Will I let down my guard and relax my precautions?

    Every week I meet with a group of colleagues for coffee. We’ve been using Zoom since March. We’ve just made plans to gather in-person – appropriately distanced, and supplying our own coffee – a couple of weeks from now. We miss one another, even though we’ve gathered together every week online. (Sounds like church too!) It’s good that we’re getting together. And it’s good that we’re taking all the smart precautions. We need human, inter-personal connection. But we can’t be lax about it. We must remain committed to 2 metre distances, facemasks, thorough hand-washing, and limiting our contacts where possible.

    While the restrictions and safety protocols necessary to hold in-person Sunday morning worship are so prohibitive that the experience would be unpleasant and un-worshipful, our deep need to connect with friends and colleagues in the flesh is very real. Our Faith United ‘Reopening Task Group’ is keeping that need front and centre in our discerning and planning. We won’t be ‘back to normal’ for a long time. Sunday worship may not happen in-person for a long time. But venturing out tentatively and safely, gathering together in small groups and taking all the prescribed precautions, reconnecting and rekindling relationships, these are the rewards for all the sacrifices of self-isolation that we have made – and must continue to make. Seeing people in-person makes you feel just that little bit more human. Just like my hair cut. I’m so grateful that we are able to begin to tentatively do these things. I just don’t want us to forget, and go too fast. I really don’t want to grow my hair that long again!

    Rev. Larry
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