Big Hair, Bigger Blame

Last month, my husband and I had the joy of going to Puerto Rico for the wedding of the son of one of my cousins.  Before another cousin arrived she saw a photo of me in San Juan and thought, “I’m in big trouble”.

I have big hair.  I have coarse, thick, wavy, humidity-driven, hair.  The aforementioned cousin shares the big hair gene with me.

We brought 2 suitcases and we had pulled everything out of them when we arrived in Puerto Rico. It was then that I discovered the plastic bag with all of my hair product was missing.  That discovery represented serious consequences for this gal with BIG hair.  Those of you who remember Roseanne Roseannadanna might understand my predicament.

You might be thinking that one trip to CVS would solve my so-called problem.  Well yes, we went to CVS a day into the trip (after the initial damning photos) and bought leave-in conditioning cream.  And yes, I was able to flat iron every quarter inch of my hair on the day of the wedding and stop by another cousin’s hotel room to use her hairspray.  But, I wasn’t willing to do the quarter inch flat iron treatment every day of my vacation.  And, I had spent a pretty penny on frizz “nourishing styling cream” and frizz “nourishing oil” for touching up my stubborn frizz determined hair.

Besides the trivial nature of forgetting my bag, was the nagging belief that I hadn’t forgotten that bag and the possibility that the airline was to blame.  This blame isn’t on the level of bodily dragging me off the plane, breaking my teeth and giving me a concussion.  I was simply annoyed.

Today I’m packing for a business trip my husband is about to take.  Yesterday I couldn’t find my flip flops so I started checking all the pockets in his suitcase for my flip flops.  They were nowhere to be found.  I did find a lump in the suitcase.  And I couldn’t figure out how to get to the lump.  This suitcase is new and I came upon a zipper that I didn’t know was there.

Yes, you’ve guessed it:

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My little blame game ended in a good laugh.  Most blame games don’t end in laughter.

I was blaming myself for some innocuous mistake yesterday when a wise friend responded, “Oh yes, you are to blame, because we must blame someone!”  Her tone dripped with humorous sarcasm.  What is this compulsion to blame?

Blame can be an ugly verb.  It generally isn’t accompanied by humility or trust.  So, blame has the potential to separate us from aligning ourselves with God.  (My suitcase story is not an allegory here!  That story just led my thoughts in the direction of exploring the topic of blame. My thoughts like jumping on trains that take me in new directions! The only thing separation from my hair products did was give my hair permission to act naturally.  Don’t worry, I’m not going off the deep end and saying it separated me from God).

Jumping back on my train of thought:  blame can take us to ugly places.  In our efforts to place blame we fail to turn to God in the moment or situation.  Jesus doesn’t seem to be big on blame.  He’s big on spiritual growth and restoration.  Restoration takes trusting him in our circumstances.  Restoration takes a willingness to be taught by our circumstances.  Blame puts a different focus on our circumstances.  Looking for someone or something to blame in our circumstances can grow bitterness, anger or shame in us.  Looking for how God might make good out of our circumstances can grow beauty, kindness and joy in us.

Okay, I can’t resist:  I rather beauty be growing in my character than on my scalp.