I could hear the hum of the razor as my husband stood at the sink shaving off his beard. The possibility of shaving had plagued his mind for several days. Every time he shaves off his beard, he regrets it. But he does it again.
“Would you mind if I shaved it off?” he asked. “Will you still like me?”
“Yes,” I said. “Of course.”
I had a college roommate who told me that when a girl changes her hair it represents some deep internal crisis. I do not know if the theory holds for men. Jonathan’s decision to shave his beard reminded me of how I accidentally dyed my hair purple the week of his proposal.
I heard the bathroom door handle clink. “How’s everything going in there?” I asked.
“It’s good,” he said tentatively, tearing a paper towel from the roll.
The shaving episode brought levity and excitement to a morning that started out gray and grouchy for both of us. So we had a gray, grouchy day to the power of two. Attended by sinus troubles and residual soreness from yesterday’s workout, by noon Jonathan and I were ready to go back to sleep and pretend the day hadn’t happened.
Do you ever make excuses for yourself when you don’t like the day you’ve been given? I do. At least, I try to. But the Holy Spirit makes that hard. Several times that morning I wanted to say, “I don’t like this day. Give me a new one.” Immediately the verse ran through my mind, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” That’s when Jonathan decided to shave off his beard.
When he finally emerged from the bathroom, Jonathan snuck up behind me. “I have to warn you,” he said behind my back. “It’s surprising.”
I turned, and screamed a little. He looked so different. Still good, but so different. “Are you my husband?” I asked.
He took the bait and pretended to be another man. He showed me his wedding ring and said, “Of course I’m your husband, Sarah.” We dissolved into laughter, interpreting this event as a way to get to know each other all over again.
School starts up again in two weeks for Jonathan, which means summer is ending and the weight of paper writing and exams is about to descend on our married house for the first time. Our work and busyness will multiply. The Virginia weather will grow windy and cold. It wouldn’t surprise me if the doldrums presented themselves to us more often.
But two actually are better than one. We don’t have to amplify each other’s grayness. We can cheer ourselves by cheering each other. This is the day that the Lord has made, and He will make tomorrow and the next day. If He wants to, He will make this whole year and the next one. And we’ll have every reason to rejoice.