Ok I guess I want to blog about what I decided to do.... shave my head... which is by far the most spontaneous thing I have EVER done... but I want to walk through it in prayer that you would understand.First of all, I have always .. ALWAYS... been moved by cancer patients and cancer survivors. I had a minor case of cervical cancer, and short of a minor surgery I was fine. But then I remember my grandmother's long, and defeating battle. How she died about a month after our wedding... How much I wanted to fly her up here and how clueless I was to how sick she really was - because she never let on that she was DYING from cancer. All her conversations were about you: How are YOU doing? What are YOU up to? What do YOU want me to send you? So when 2 weeks before my wedding she says, "You know, I just don't feel well enough to fly up there right now... but maybe we'll see each other this summer? Or you and Paul can vacation here for Christmas?" I was disappointed, but no where near as aware of what happened until my mom called me in tears. My mom was able to see her before she passed away... and my mom still can't talk about what she looked like or how that experience was - and it was 5 years ago!
Then I remember keeping up with my Aunt's status reports after she was diagnosed with breast cancer... How she kept losing weight.. How she lost her hair... and some teeth. Which she was already a very thin woman with short hair - I couldn't imagine her any thinner. My mom went down there that summer and helped her out a bit. She recovered, and is cancer free now. I never fathomed what I would look like any other way than this:
I signed up for Relay for Life and I had a few wonderful people donate $130 out of my $300 goal. And I thought that was awesome! And I can totally walk for a whole day if that helps advance cancer research. And I'm still prepping to borrow a tent and pull together a team to walk with me.
Then one Saturday morning my sister-in-law wants us to go to something that she was invited to somewhere... I'm like, "Sure!" And then this is what is going on:
People have pledged to shave their head in exchange for donations. And the donations are for treatment for children with cancer. And when I walked in, they had raised already $19,000+. They also had a bone marrow donor booth where you can sign up for the registry if you let them take a swab of the inside of your cheeks. They had face painting, auctions, etc. And I saw beautiful, bald young children making friends with Anakin.
And as I asked how it works and all, I had an inward conversation with myself (and maybe God? I guess I don't know) and I just felt... Lord, we've had it so good. And we are so comfortable. And I can't remember the last time I did something that required some stretching on my part. It's like we have reached a new age of Christianity where, here in the US, we're not even familiar with sacrifice; we serve where we are able, when we are able, but we never inconvenience ourselves. Lord, how can the world truly know who YOU are?
Well, it's been my prayer theme this week too. I want God to shine through me. What can I do to live above the status quo? Raise the bar on my own definition of being a city on a hill. I want to know at the end of my road that I gave it my all, and left it all here, and there are no regrets. That I loved with everything I had, and then some. That no matter what their previous or other experience was, people would have a more accurate perception of my loving Savior because of having known me - if nothing else.
Then I thought, who could need to know about Christ more than a child who is struggling with cancer? Who could I think of that would need to experience His love the most in this present moment than the children who are relying on this event? And you know, it would irritate me to be condescended by another Christian who maybe would feel the only appropriate way to give is through a church... not that it has happened, but it's a potential peeve.
So I donated my hair to Locks for Love and I registered to raise some $$.
Now please don't assume that I'm insinuating you have to shave your head to be a good Christian, it was a personal challenge to ME to be more sacrificial - God will lead you in your ways. But now my prayer is that I didn't just shave my head to do so, but that it raises funds.
So I'm going to include the link below, and I'm begging you to give. You don't have to shave your head bald. I did. You can just give. Skip out on ONE starbucks, or McD's, and give $5. If every friend I had did so, I can well raise over $500. No exaggeration. Just pass it along.
See, most people think that to give you need to wait until you have an extra $100. Well that never comes. But you CAN choose to say "I can pass on eating out one time this week" and donate the money you would've spent.
Here it goes!
Maria Hass St. Baldrick's Participant Page