Enter the Nazirite. If you grew up in the Southwest of the US like me, then your Sunday school coloring book pages depicted the Nazirites as wooly guys who ate bugs and wore tattered clothing. John the Baptist was a Nazirite. Because of Sunday school, I pictured him much like Grizzly Adams (you can Google) only dirtier and with fewer red plaid flannel shirts. For this reason, I always assumed members of the Church of the Nazarene had to lead similar lives. Young minds are funny. Thankfully, young minds don’t stay young, and they get piped full of wisdom from great copywriters like those at Wikipedia, who provide us well-written, fact-checked niblets of historical info like this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite. Read about all the Nazirites of the Bible, the controversies behind the Nazirite vow and how it relates to the present Church of the Nazarene. It’s fascinating stuff!
The one thing that struck me today was that women could be Nazirites, which I hadn’t realized ever. I was picturing the long, luscious locks of the purest of the pure. After reading the Wiki entry on the Nazirites, I realized too that the vows and commitments are much like that of Buddhist monks. I can’t claim to know a lot about how one becomes a monk, but I do know that 1) women can be monks, 2) monks can either take a lifelong vow or serve for a set period of time, 3) families can send their children to temple to serve as monks as a sort of dedication or offering (I don’t understand it completely, obvi), 4) the shaving of a monk’s head (and I believe all hair) is symbolic of ridding the person of his/her past. Kind of interesting, huh?
Writing prompt: The Nazirites
Study up on the Nazirites, and pick your favorite Nazirite of the Bible. Write a short story about that person’s life, influence – anything you want. Get creative with this one!