Clown Wig

Sometimes things get misplaced in a house full of toddlers, hats
among them.  Not long ago, my wife Rocio commented that I was
regaining my form from our previous church in Lake Jackson.  She
didn’t mean my preaching style.  She meant my gut.  I decided to
go for walks.

So the other night, just after she and the babies had gone to the
store, I set out.  It was cold.  I came back in and looked for my
favorite stocking cap.  No dice.  I looked for my “Dublin Dr Pepper”
hat, always a good second choice.  It wasn’t around either.  The
only thing hat-like I found lying around was daughter Grace’s
rainbow-colored clown wig.  ‘Oh well,’ thought I, ‘at least it’s dark

I stepped out again.  It was colder than I thought.  I stepped back in
to look for a coat.  At that moment I realized exactly where my nice,
Colombian leather jacket was.  It wasn’t going to do me much good,
though, sitting on my desk at the church.  I hunted around awhile
before realizing that I had given my extra coats away in the coat
drive.  Well and good, I thought.  Someone needed them more.  I  
finally found the wool poncho Rocio had brought back with her from
her last visit home.  Then I set out for the walk.

It’s surprising how many people and creatures are out on a
residential street at night, especially when you’re not eager to see
them.  I certainly didn’t expect to see them.  Nor, I suspect, did they
expect to see me, at least not dressed as I was.  The neighbors’
dogs spotted me first.  I walk by them a lot.  They usually don’t pay
me much attention.  They did this time!  Further on I saw couple
walking up the sidewalk.  They saw me, stopped, then crossed the
street.  I recognized them when they walked by.  They didn’t
recognize me.

What is so strange about seeing a middle-aged man in a rainbow-
colored clown wig and a full-length wool poncho taking a walk on a
cold Dallas night?  Apparently more than I thought!  I made one
circle of the block then decided, for the sake of the neighbors, to
head back home.

Do you ever find that the things you misplace in life seem to loom
large?  You don’t necessarily miss them until you need them.  And,
regardless of how they got lost, not having them around changes at
least the way others see us.  It can also change the way we see
ourselves.  I know.  I looked in the mirror.

Sometimes, the things we have lost can so change us that even
those we know have trouble recognizing us.  ‘Here I am in my clown
wig and poncho while everyone around me is normal.’  Our
particular ‘clown wig’ is whatever it is that our loss has made us
into.  Only it’s usually no laughing matter.  We feel like the dogs all
bark at us.  The neighbors look at us askance.  No one
understands why we look the way we do.  Very few even care to

Yet deep down, we remain who we always were.  We continue to
bear within us the image of God, as pure and eternal as the One it
reflects.  Circumstances may have hidden that from us and others,
much like clouds sometimes hide the sun.  But the image remains.

All we can do, I suppose, is finish the walk.  Trust that the moment
will come when the wig will come off.  Anticipate that.  Understand
that, despite the shock, God has not abandoned us.  The person
we will be when the wig comes off will be wiser, more loving, and
more patient.  

And I’m not just clowning around.

Copyright 2006, John G. Cunyus
All Rights Reserved.