O Solitary Chin Hair, Where Art Thou? | Sojourners

O Solitary Chin Hair, Where Art Thou?

A girl shaving her glitter covered face. By Victoria Alexandrova via Unsplash

"Beards protest against a world gone mad. In other words, beards beard. They testify, in their own bristly way, that sex distinctions matter, that manhood will not be so easily shaven, shorn, or chopped by the Huruns of this world. Its itchy and cheeky voice bears witness, 'Male and female he created them' (Genesis 1:27)." —Greg Morse, desiringGod.org

Most people think that Jesus’ ministry began when John baptized him in the Jordan River. Most people are wrong. It began the day he grew a beard. Notice I did not say “facial hair” broadly, but “beard” specifically. Because Jesus was both fully human and fully God, his beard-to-be began in patches, tufts of hair separated by skin like the Red Sea parted by Moses. And even when Jesus achieved a goatee at the (impressive!) age of 14, he could not cast out demons or give sight to the blind. Some quick biblical exegesis reveals why: “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32). What does a goat have that a sheep doesn’t? A full-on beard, that’s what.

Now you may be thinking, What gives this smooth-faced woman the right to teach me something from the Bible? That’s not allowed outside the context of choir or children’s ministry. But fear not! I have a single hair sprouting from my chin. Yes, it is short — precious oil could never run off of it — but it is strong. Seriously, it’s like really really sharp and sturdy. It is like a lily sprouting (upside-down) in an otherwise barren desert of freckles. It is an island, a staff, a flag of masculinity that would certainly wave if it weren’t so damn sturdy.

So, women, girls, and Timothée Chalamet (who almost certainly has a solitary chin hair), I urge you to stop plucking your face. Ask yourself, Why did God give me the capacity to grow this chin hair? Why one hair instead of 70 times seven? These distinctions matter. Some among us have even been blessed with multiple chin hairs or several upper lip hairs. All of them are divine. Let them grow (or just stay two centimeters long forever and ever as the case may be). It is time, sisters, to beat our tweezers into plowshares.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that sheep have beards; the article has been updated to relfect that goats have beards, not sheep. Our baaaaaad.