As a cancer patient, there's a good chance you may loose your hair. Chemotherapy and radition can wipe away even the most luscious locks. Deciding on scraves, hats, and wigs, or whether to just let you hairless head been seen by all, can be hard. Dealing with you feelings can be even more challenging.
I was half way through 18 whole brain radiation treatments when I finally lost all my hair. After a shower, as I dried myself off with a towel, I wiped my hair off my head. I expected it might happen. What I hadn't expected were my deep feelings of hurt, defeat, loss, and even anger.
Wanting to redeem my hair loss and give it some spiritual meaning, I turned to the Bible. A couple verses had already come to mind, but I searched and found a couple more. Four hairy scripture passages helped me keep my bald head up.
1. The firsts story to come to mind was the strage Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah. Samson's long lock are the secret source of his super strength. His enemies bribe Delilah into finding out his secret and telling them, and she succeeds. They capture him, cut off his hair, and gauge his eyes out.
It's not a very inspiring story. It did make me thankful for my faithful wife and my eyes. Spiritually, the story reminded me that my hair wasn't the source of my strength. That role belonged to the Lord alone!
The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14, NIV
2. The second story, from the book of Acts is about Paul, the famously fruitful missionary and apostle for Christ. I suspect he kept his hair short, but I don't know. On one occassion as he prepared to set sail on the next leg of his mission, "he had his hair cut off...becuase of a vow he had made," presumably to devote his trip and success to God (Acts 18:18).
This story inspired me. The Sunday after reading it, at the conclusion of the worship service I had lead, during the final song of dedication, I came to the altar, bowed my bald head, and prayed to God. Lord I recommit my life to you and dedicate my cancer journey, wherever it may take me, to your glory and the sharing Jesus Christ to all. In that moment, my baldness became a sign of my vow to God.
3. Third, I thought of the story of David being chosen and annointed as King. 1 Samuel 16. God sends the prophet Samuel to annoint Israel's next king and leads him to Jessie's home. Samueal sees Eliab, likely a strong, good looking guy, and he thinks this son is the one, but the Lord promptly corrects him, saying.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. TheLorddoes not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance,but the Lordlooks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV)
Samuel sees and passes over seven sons of Jessee before they call for David, the youngest son, who is the one and annointed on the spot to be the next king. While he too is strong and handsom, his being the youngest should have disqualified him, which again proves that God looks at the heart, not outward appearance.
We easily get caught up in our appearances, and hair is a big part of that. We have bad hair days; collics collide with the look we want, hair recesses, thins, and falls out. The good news; God cares about our hearts not our hair! With God, bald really is just as beautiful.
4. Lastly, on one occassion, as Jesus taught his disciples not to be afraid. He assured them,
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid... Luke 12:7, NIV
God knows every hair you've lost to cancer and all of the other losses. None of them have escaped His notice. God loves you, grieves with you, and will provide for your needs.
Several months and a few hats after my hair was lost it came back. It's not the same as it used to be, very untamable at times, but it did come back. Through my cancer journey, God faithfully provided for every need, including lots of great hats.
Questions: Have you lost your hair to cancer? What did that loss mean to you? What faith lessons have you learned? Please share!