Today is Eric Barrington Larson's 15th birthday! He was born at 4:59 PM; my doctor had wanted us to wait until after his work day was over to have Eric so he wouldn't have to cancel patients, but sometimes you just can't wait! :-) We love you, Eric, and thank God for the man you are becoming.
Tonight, I find myself proud of my oldest daughter, Hannah, for how she handled herself in what many other teens would believe an unfair situation. I have seen her Christ-like attitude, her acceptance of her responsibilities, her respect for authority, and her desire to bring God glory.
It all seemed so simple, really; my daughter and some friends decided to add red highlights to their hair. She had dyed her hair red before, and we had no problem with it, so we weren't concerned at all. When she came home, however, we were surprised (as was she) that the color turned out to be so bright. It was RED alright!
As some of you know, she attends a private school with a dress code which stipulates that hair cannot be dyed an "unnatural" color. Now, I personally know, because I teach there, that there have been other girls who have come to school with colors in their hair which were obviously not "natural." However, they haven't been the Chaplain who has to stand in front of the entire student body every week, so it hasn't seemed to be much of an issue!
After being "dress-coded," Hannah went to our hairdresser to try and fix the situation. She then ended up with pink and orange hair which they tried to cover with a darker color. When the darker color was washed out, her hair had a slightly purple hue in certain lights. She wasn't sure how this would go over at school, but our hairdresser said that Hannah shouldn't dye it anymore for at least a couple of days because it would cause too much damage.
So, this evening when I got home from Back to School Night at 9:00 PM, I found my slightly purple-haired daughter at the computer, crying and typing out an apology letter to the school administration, staff, and students. She was crying because if they don't accept her hair color, she won't be able to deliver the theme for the entire year of chapels at school tomorrow. She has worked so hard on the theme for the year, the verses that she felt the Lord wanted for the student body, her power-point presentation (which has great graphics, by the way), and her "speech." She is afraid that she won't be able to give it, and she will have to have someone else read it for her. Her heart is crushed because she has been praying and preparing for this for weeks.
Her letter made me so proud because she owned what she could own; she asked for forgiveness; she accepted whatever consequences would be coming her way; and she did it all with the utmost of humility and respect for those in authority over her. I know that she doesn't agree with it all because it does seem unfair that others haven't been called for the very same thing, and she (and we) don't think that is something to focus on. (As an aside, when Dave and I were in youth ministry, we always said we would never make hair color an issue in our home because we saw some Christian families filled with division and anger over such a non-eternal thing. I find it ironic that due to her school rules, not our rules, it has become a BIG issue in our home right now.) I know that many students dye their hair to shock people or to be rebellious, and hence the dress-code, but that wasn't her heart in doing it. Hannah graciously accepted her responsibility for being in a leadership position, and is handling the entire thing wonderfully. My heart treasures that my daughter is handling this situation on her own and doing it with such a Christ-like attitude, even though it has upset her so much.
That's what is going on in the Larson home this evening. I'll let you know what happens. If you think of it, please pray for her tomorrow as she finds out whether or not she will be able to speak in chapel.