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!