Monday, February 27, 2012
A strange lenten discipline
I decided to do something a little different for Lent this year. I am shaving every day for Lent.
This idea came into my head in the middle of leading the Ash Wednesday service at United Churches. The gospel text for Ash Wednesday was the "do not be like the hypocrites" passages from Matthew 6. As I was preparing this in the light of Lent, the idea that is important to be vulnerable to God and others kept running through my mind.
There are several reasons why I have facial hair most of time. My wife thinks I look sexier with facial hair, and her opinion in this regard is important to me. I don't like to shave. I have a very limited amount of body hair in the first place, and the end of my chin is the only place where it seems to grow well. I have always dreamed of having a full beard, or even a respectable mustache, or a full goatee, but I have consistently failed in this regard.
First and foremost; however, I grow facial hair at the bottom of my chin because of vanity. I have a round face. When I do not shave, the hair at the bottom of my face breaks up the chubbiness of my face. When I do shave, as I have chosen to do for Lent, my face looks rounder, and a double chin becomes more prominent.
I chose to shave for Lent in order to be more vulnerable and less vain. I find both concepts difficult to put into practice, and yet important. I see shaving for Lent a good step in the right direction.
As for the rest of my Lenten discipline...since it does not show itself on my face, I am not going to share it. Something about those Matthew 6 passages tell me secrecy is the better route in that regard.