Getting a Perm

When I was in high school back in the 70s (ancient history to many of you), disco was king and guys got perms. I didn’t, but other guys did. I remember one of my classmates got his hair curled so tight he looked like Art Garfunkel (more ancient history for many of you). And while I admired his guts and can now admit to a slight envy, I knew I couldn’t rock a perm. But if you want to see someone who really can rock a perm, check out this this one. That girl rocks that perm all the way to disco fever!

You know something about perms, though? They fade. They loosen. They grow out. They need to be redone. They’re not permanent.

This got me thinking about how some people view their relationship with Christ.  Jesse Overholtzer, a 19th-20th c. evangelist, spoke of his early struggles in his faith:

“Satan tempted me to question whether a sinning Christian was still saved. I began doubting my salvation, for I was now looking to my conduct instead of to the merits of Christ.”

It’s a common struggle, but an unnecessary one. As Overholtzer said, it came from looking at his own struggles instead of looking at Christ. He eventually discovered, though, that we should instead focus on Jesus and what he said:

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30.)

Anyone who has eternal life in Christ has it because Jesus gave it to them, and everyone Jesus has in his hand is staying there eternally. This is a permanent arrangement. It’s a perm that does not fade or loosen or grow out or need to be redone. He’s got you forever. You are his and he is yours in a relationship that does not end.

Eternal life: it’s permanent.


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20 Responses to Getting a Perm

  1. “And while I admired his guts and can now admit to a slight envy, I knew I couldn’t rock a perm.”
    You’re killin’ me. 🙂

    Good parallel today. I am so glad that perms aren’t permanent b/c I had one badly frizzled do back in the 80s!!! Yet the eternal life perm I opted for is still holding steady, praise God!

    BTW, if anyone needs a long, medicinal, side-splitting laugh, I recommend exploring more of the Awkward Family photos website. My, my, my.

    She was PROUD of that perm too, wasn’t she?

    • Tim says:

      Your frizz job makes me think that maybe they should call those “temps” instead of “perms”. As Mark Twain pointed out, the only difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is three weeks. I’m glad there is so much we grow out of in life!

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    This focus on self is what so many are unwittingly doing when they base their salvation on nailing down their moment of conversion. While repentance, confession, and prayer are important, so many of us do not know when that particular moment was. I love what Michael Horton said as a teenager when asked when he was “saved” by his pastor. He replied, “2,000 years ago.”

    • Tim says:

      Horton’s take on it is excellent. It’s not about when we “decided to follow Jesus”, as the old hymn goes. In fact, it’s not about anything we’ve done at all. It’s about what Jesus has done.

  3. Jeannie says:

    And with a love like that, you know you should be glad. Sorry, just been listening to a lot of Beatles lately. (Can we talk about pageboy hairdos tomorrow? )

  4. Mary Anne says:

    Yes, Tim, I remember the era—I also remember feeling left out with my curly hair when everyone was going for the straight waist-length look like Cher. It was then I learned two great truths about hair:

    1.The pessimistic one–there are two kinds of hair: the right kind and the kind you’ve got.

    2.The optimistic one–if you hate your hair, just remember that somewhere in the world a stylist is struggling desperately to create that exact look on a supermodel. 😉

    • Tim says:

      I’ve lived the truth of #1!

      As for #2, take another look at the picture on the top of this page. Are you sure that struggling stylist is out there somewhere?

  5. Lesley212 says:

    Great post Tim! I’m so thankful for the permanency of eternal life. I remind myself of this anytime I get scared about losing a loved one. This life is temporary, the next is eternal.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks much, Lesley. There are a couple things that blow me away on this. One is that we are in Jesus and he is in us and you can’t get closer than in. The other is that life in Christ is eternal and you can’t get longer than eternity. Eternity in Christ is a two-fer to end all two-fers.

  6. Do people still get perms any more? I remember getting one in the early 90s.

  7. Katie says:

    My brother has (totally natural) ringlet curls reaching to his mid back. All the little old ladies ask him where he gets his hair done and what products he uses on it.

    I don’t think he’d appreciate being mistaken for a disco-lover, though. 🙂

    • Tim says:

      I love that the little old ladies come to him for hair care tips!

      • Katie says:

        Oh yeah. He’s a 6’3″ twenty-something dressed all in black, with the goatee and shirts with menacing band album covers on them and formidable scowl, and these little old ladies with their blue (permed) hair in their coats and hats will stop him to ask him about his hair. He always politely tells them thank you, the curls are natural and his mom cuts it when it gets too long, and what kind of shampoo he uses. It’s hilarious and adorable.

  8. Oooo!! This is the best type of “perm” to get indeed. How funny how you were able to so easily tie it into a fad! I honestly never knew men got perms! I thought it was a girl thing (I never got a perm before).

    • Tim says:

      Remember the old Brady Bunch TV show? Mr. Brady’s hair was straight in early seasons but permed by the time the show reached the end of its run. He could carry it off, but I’d have looked like a freak!

      • I adored the show very much and really want to watch all of the seasons again. I didn’t really pay attention that the sudden curls were a perm! ahhh. in 2003 Rob had really puffy curly hair that was natural that probably could have passed a little for a perm. It was cute, but when it grew longer the curls disappeared forever, never to come back.

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