Britney Spears terrified fans in 2007 when she walked into Esther’s Hair Salon in Tarzana, CA and told the stylist, “I want my hair shaved off.” The proprietor, Esther Tognozzi, said “Well, I’m not doing it,” suggesting that perhaps the pop star was having a hormonal moment and might feel differently in the morning. Ms. Spears grabbed the buzzer and began shaving it away herself. TMZ ensured that the scene would live on in infamy–playing it relentlessly for months on end. As usual, there’s a story behind the story. Bad hair weaves had damaged Britney’s beautiful blonde locks to the point that she complained the extensions were too tight.
Today, more than ever, I have greater sympathy for the teen idol. Chemo hair hurts. It causes a sensation similar to the one you get after taking your hair out of a ponytail that you’ve worn all day. This morning I couldn’t take it anymore and it became obvious that my badly damaged hair couldn’t be salvaged either. Just like the diva, I reached for the electric razor to do what must be done.
Hope you don’t mind if I indulge in a little red neck humor. You know you need to shave your head when:
…there’s more hair clogging your shower drain than there is on your head.
…you scare yourself when you look in the mirror.
…it takes a lint brush to clean off your pillows in the morning.
…blow-drying your hair creates a cyclone.
What does it feel like to watch your lengthy locks fall from your head into the bathroom sink? At first I wept. But mid-way through (picture me with half a head of hair), I started to giggle. This turned into a laugh-out-loud moment. And then I felt empowered by taking my journey into my own hands. I decided I’m not a victim, I’m a victor! We have a choice in the midst of disease, divorce, debt, or despair; we can press into our faith or flounder in the flesh. I followed the footsteps of Paul.
The apostle met far greater adversaries than cancer. He was thrown into prison, shipwrecked, beaten, ridiculed, abandon, starved, robbed, left for dead, and eventually martyred. I can’t find one Scripture where he felt sorry for himself. He kept his eyes on Jesus rather than his troubles. The apostle wrote to the Corinthians, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (2 Cor. 4:8-10).
I don’t know the trials you face. But I do know that you, too, can follow Paul as he followed Christ.