The brush I’d just been using was full of hairs. My mind flashed to the many hairs I’d shed in the shower the day before. Should I worry? Was I loosing too many hairs? I have long thick hair and I don’t usually concern myself with the thought of losing too many. The lost hairs are just an annoyance as they turn up wound around the vacuum cleaner brush, clogging up the bathtub drain, or being pulled out of someone’s mouth or food during a meal. And yet, here I was giving thought-time to a possible concern regarding my hair loss.
“Most people normally shed 50 to 100 hairs a day,” say the experts of the Mayo Clinic.[i] If there is some problem causing the abnormal loss of hair it usually falls into one of 4 basic categories: family history (heredity), hormonal changes, medical conditions, or as a result of taking certain medication.[ii]
I contemplated the verses of Matthew 10:29-31[iii]. Jesus was sending out the 12 disciples to heal and preach. These are his instructions to them as they prepare. He addressed their fears regarding persecution with these words,
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value then many sparrows.”
The verse speaks to God’s foreknowledge, God’s care for us, and God’s abiding presence with us as we journey.
So often we get caught up in Satan’s trap of questioning our calling. We doubt our abilities to do what God is calling us to do as we journey the rough roads of this life, but we should not. We should stand in faith, accepting our instructions, as from an all-knowing and loving God. He makes our mission possible. This verse bolsters me up for service to my God. He knows all my stuff. He knows all the ways the devil would tempt me to distrust God and resign myself to brokenness. Because God knows all of my hairs, I am able to trust that he not only knows, but cares for me with such tender love. I can trust a God like that! I can serve a God like that!
Reviewing the causes of hair-loss I noticed that there is absolutely nothing about us that God doesn’t notice. And none of these things negate His mission and plan for us to represent Him to the world around us – showing forth His character and sharing His message.
God is aware of our family history. He realizes where we’ve come from. He knows all the stories that make the backdrop of our lives (the good, the bad, and the ugly). And none of it is a hindrance in Him calling us to go into the world in His name.
Certain stressful events that are a physical or emotional shock to our systems can be instigators of hair loss. Someone may notice general thinning of the hair in the months following events such as “sudden or excessive weight loss, a high fever, surgery, or a death in the family[iv].” And God is not ignorant of these. It amazes me how even the most shocking and stressful events can be turned to praise when we consider God’s hand in things.
Of course God is aware of the causes of hair loss such as treatments for cancer, or the medicines for arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, and birth control. He even knows if we are losing hair by an overabundance of vitamin A in our systems. Even in these circumstances our God is present with us, showing us His character of goodness and love towards us, causing us to praise Him. We are not lying on the ground alone like a sparrow that has fallen, without anyone seeming to have a care. These thoughts just aren’t true. Jesus declared that, “not one of them (the sparrows) are forgotten before God [v].” The truth is that we are in His hands, even more so than the sparrows are. His loving care for the details of our lives is outlined in these verses.
Luke 12:7 “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
God knows the changes in our bodies, and the trials of our lives to the most perplexing levels. He sees our complex hormonal changes. He perceives of the productions of our thyroid gland, and all the rest. Our fertility issues are not beyond His ability to fathom. He recognizes our times of life, such as the changes regarding menopause. He is aware of even the strange disease of our body’s immune system fighting against itself that can be a cause of sudden hair loss. As He knows it all, He is present with us through it all, and lovingly asks us to continue forward in living for Him.
It may be that we are fighting against ourselves. The things we do to our bodies can be the cause of hair loss. One cause is a disease which causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair. [vi] We can even fight against ourselves by mistreating our hair with styles that excessively pull the hair causing loss. And also, “Hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss,” says the Mayo Clinic. None of the causes of hair loss escape His notice, and yet the call remains to go, and do, and live, spreading the message of His love.
We are sent forth with the encouragement to witness to others regarding His abilities, His power, His goodness, His compassion, and His presence. “Freely ye have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8b).”
[iii] Parallel passage is Luke 12: 6-7
[v] Luke 12:6