44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
The Book of Luke, Chapter 7
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair." I distinctly remember as a child pretending that I was in fact Rapunzel, and it was my prince who called to me from his spot underneath the tower. There was something so enchanting about that daydream, that a prince, a prince would call for me. I imagined that I'd send down a staircase of heavenly gold locks, all messily uncoiled from my tight ringlets, so that my prince could climb up and rescue me. He was riding a white horse of course, and we'd ride off into the pale colored sunset, my hair tossing in the wind and wrapping about us as we rode off into perfect matrimony.
There's a lesson that's significant in this children's tale, a reality that we see daily but that isn't often noticed. There is a reason the story of Rapunzel is so enchanting, or why men love the look of a beautiful woman shaking out unruly locks from an updo. It's less about seduction than you'd think. It's much more about vulnerability and submission.
Ever since the fall, Eve has believed a lie about herself that has perpetuated onto every woman since. It's the lie that we are not good enough, it's the lie that produces masks and layers, until the original glory that we were made with is covered up completely. It's the lie that the world is too dangerous, too scary to trust anyone or anything with our unique and vulnerable hearts. It's the lie that makes women strive for a beauty that they already posses but cannot seem to see.
But the Sinful Woman in Luke 7 changes that. She does something brave, something bold. A woman in Jesus' time would never have been seen with her hair unfastened by anyone other than her husband or her parents. Most women wore headdresses and kept their hair neatly tucked back inside them. But this woman, she knew she could trust Jesus. Taking her hair down was the ultimate sacrifice, the epitome of vulnerability. She was taking off her masks and facades and showing Jesus herself. I can just imagine the jaws dropping as the Pharisees around her saw her unfasten her hair and put it at Jesus' feet. To me, this act of admission was not only about washing His feet and pouring expensive perfume. I believe it was also about her ability to become vulnerable, the ability to lay it all down in the most pinnacle act of submission. It was as if she was saying, "Here Jesus, Have all of me. I don't need to hide anymore."
That's something that I struggle with daily, the ability to give Jesus my all, even the parts I don't like so much, even the parts that I think aren't so perfect. Even though I know He can see right through my crap, I still struggle and strive and hide and I must will myself to become vulnerable each time. I hope that's something we can all learn to do in front of God, to let our hair down, to drop our masks. After all, he can see right through us, He made us, and He called His creation "Good."