Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gift of A Scar: Hairy Compassion

When I was 18 months old, it was discovered that I had Scoliosis. That's a fancy term for a curved spine. Instead of being straight - it looked like an "S"... It became worse over the years as I grew. When I was in 4th grade, it was determined that I had to wear a Milwaukee back brace. That's a brace that went from under my chin to my hips. It had one metal rod in front and two in back. It made me sweat! But I would not trade those moments for any thing.. Not even when I was stripped searched at the airport. That was long before 911 mind you. Not even for the jokes and endlessly teasing and stares.

The summer going in to 6th grade, it was determined that the brace was not working. I remember so vividly my daddy sitting on the floor with me weeping as he held me in his arms after praying about the next step the doctors said was necessary. So... while all the other kids my age were starting school - I was having back surgery. I became the proud owner of a 12 inch metal rod known as the Harrington Rod. And no, I do not make metal detectors go off funny enough.

What I do not talk about very often is that I almost did not make it off the operating table. They were getting ready to write my time of death down when I started breathing again on my own. Well, of course, it was not on my own. Hope wasn't finished with me here on earth yet.

I've always been known for my hair as crazy as that is to me. I spend very little time on it and always have. But, when my hair recently past my scar - I knew what I was to do with it! Of course, I have those in my life who do not understand my decision to cut 10 inches off today. That's okay.... I do not need their permission. I only seek to answer to One.

I look at my scar as a gift. As a reminder of God's love for me. I am thankful for the life He has given me - yes, even in having faced the depths of not being considered normal and loss. In suffering, the compassion of Jesus became more real to me than every single breath I take. Giving the 10 inches of hair to help someone else is one way I can serve Him... and share His compassion with another so that they too may know His love in the most intimate ways.

Hairy compassion! So, I ask you this moment - what can you give to another out of the story of the life you've been given?

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for!


Bill (cycleguy) said...

Camey: Well I cannot give any hair since I don't have any to give. :) Since as long as I can remember my late mother told me I had a compassionate heart, one that saw others and reached out to them. I can say along with Peter: "Silver and gold I don't have but what I do I give you." I give my heart. Cool story my friend. May you be blessed beyond measure in this new year.

Will_nottheactor said...

Great story, and great challenge, Camey. A couple of weeks ago I posted a bit of "been there-done that" experience as encouragement to Cycleguy, who recently had some doctoring done (as only those of us in Texas can say).

Our lives are unique, customized by the individual encounters that shape each experience, and yet, we take great pleasure knowing that someone else has already been through that "something." It gives us hope, that if they could get through it, Lord willing, we will too.

You've been prayed for, too!

M. Steve Heartsill said...

What a great testimony. The more you unpack your life, the more I learn from your experiences and mature faith.

I'm with Bill...I've already donated my hair (unfortunately, to the floor and shower drain)...but, I do have many, many other things to give. Thanks for challenging me to get serious about it!

Anonymous said...

I have given my hair two or three times now. I grow it so long and beautiful and then hack it off. My mother-in-law almost cries every time I do this. She loves long hair. What purpose it serves me to have it long like that is beyond my comprehension. It is pretty, but it gets in the way and makes me hot. Esp in south Florida. I was so hoping as I read your post that you donated your hair. So glad you did. :)

Beautiful story.


Camey said...

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and etc.

This story is not finished.. more to come!