If you’ve watched any movies lately or looked around you’ll notice that beards seem to be making a come back. What is it about this hairy beasts that attracts us to them? What do they represent?
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of getting a new haircut. Over the winter my hair had grown pretty long so I wanted to cut it short for the sizzling summer months. I had a guy cutting my hair who spoke with what sounded to me like broken English but I couldn’t tell due to his utterings and mumblings. At one point he held the “zizzer” up to my side burns and looked towards me and murmured something. I couldn’t hear him with the noisy hair cutter in my ear. I nodded my head thinking, “That seems like a good length.” Because obviously he was suggesting my side burn length.
Then he did the unthinkable. He flipped his little machine upside down and shaved off a good part of my beard leaving me with only a lopsided goatee. Needless to say the haircut was great.
After that experience I realized just how valuable a beard is to a man. I did a brief Wikipedia search (I know its Wikipedia…) to investigate this further. It seems that in some cultures beards are mandatory and to others an object of holiness. After my vicious experience I too felt this. With out my beard I feel like a little boy, like my manhood was sucked out of me. What good is a male lion without his mane?
Among my Wikipedia perusing I realized that many great people had beards. I mean:
Kings, philosophers, scientists, inventors, presidents, warriors, athletes, emperors, wizards (who doesn’t want to be Gandalf), writers, thinkers, wise men, old people, etc. If you have a beard then your in good company.
Jesus himself was described as having a beard. So what is it about beards that we love so much? Why do women (not girls) find them attractive? To grow a clean beard it shows security, patience, discipline and humility. If you’ve ever had facial hair you know the “itchy” stage. You also know that you have to remain committed even if at first it doesn’t look right. At some point you have to give up on being insecure and just accept people’s compliments.
Now I’m not saying that all men should have a beard. Some men can’t grow them. Others have jobs that prohibit them. But we as men should all have spiritual beards. Beards of character. Beards of hard work. Beards of wisdom, humility and thoughtfulness.
Its freeing to think that maybe we weren’t meant to look clean shaven. Maybe our beards are a gift of God’s mercy.