Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Losing My Soul Patch; Gaining Some Soul

I'm not sure what to call it.  I'm not sure that matters.
Two Sundays ago, I shaved my soul patch, which I've had for years.  I shaved it on Sunday morning before the first worship service in Lent.  It was sort of a Lenten fast, getting rid of something I keep to make myself look good.  I like the soul patch even though I get some flack for it ... especially from older folks.  (My Mom used to call it a devil's beard.)
I thought that some people (like my wife) would comment with relief.  I thought that some might say I look younger - not necessarily a good thing for a young pastor.  Maybe a few might say I should grow it back.
But ...
No one said anything.
In fact, no one even noticed for days.
And then, only my daughter noticed when we were cuddling before bedtime, and she was touching my face.  (For the record, she wants me to grow it back so that I can use it to tickle her.)
By Wednesday night, I gave up and told my wife that I had shaved it.  She still hadn't noticed, and she doesn't even like the soul patch.  (For the record, I feel like I've earned a freebie the next time I don't notice when she cuts her hair ... which will be the next time she cuts her hair.)
Now, some 10 days later, not a single person over four feet tall has commented about it.
On one hand, I'm a bit disappointed.  I guess people just don't care all that much what I look like - or at least what my face looks like. 
On the other hand, I'm also hearing a spiritual lesson here.  I guess people just don't care all that much what I look like.  All of my concerns about style and coolness and being up to date (which - come on - we all have) are pretty much ... irrelevant.  Maybe I can relax a little about being cool and just be.
Maybe that's part of what Lent is all about anyway.
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