I was running late for my hair appointment today. I had everything planned to work out just fine, but my execution was off due to two girls who decided to play with friends without checking in with me, so when it was time to leave homeschool coop today, I had to go looking for them, and I was running late.
I blew into the salon, sat down at the sprayer sink, and started chattering away with a pent up fury of a woman who has gone way too long without getting away by herself and feeling just a bit stressy.
When I paused to catch my breath, the sweet woman who has cut my hair for the past several years began to speak. She spoke with pent up anguish which needed release.
Her best friend had been recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and would be starting treatments soon. She had been asked to shave her friend’s head and didn’t know how she would be able to bring herself to do it. She was struggling with pain and fear and guilt for feeling these things.
My “problems” suddenly seemed really small. Sure, we live with uncertainty, and a constant level of
chaos, I mean madness, I mean stress; but it is not life and death. It is not.
She attacked my hair with all the pent up pain and fear and guilt and anger at cancer that she had been carrying. When she finished, my hair was a little bit shorter than I was planning on and a little bit more layered than I like, but I do not have cancer. My hair is not going to fall out. It will grow back and life will go on. I asked her if I could pray with her and so there, in the salon, as her next customer came in, we prayed. I was able to share my experiences with the cancer center she was working with and how much respect I had for them. It is the same center, the same doctor who took care of Edmund.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Cor. 1:3-5)
Because we walked the cancer road with John’s father, I had some idea of how the chemotherapy would affect her friend and we talked about some practical things her daughters could shop for to make a care basket. (Boost, peppermints, fiber-con, books/dvds,etc.)
People are hurting everywhere. Oh Father, please open my eyes and take them off of myself. I cannot be an instrument of Your healing if all I am concerned with is my own comfort. I cannot be an instrument of Your healing if I talk more than I listen. Thank You for putting Your hand over my mouth and giving me a brief window into someone else’s life today.