Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Confessions of a Bald Man

Some of you know…some have suspected…and some of you may have had no idea. For the last 4 years, I have been wearing a “hair system” (a sophisticated, human hair version of a “hair piece”). At the time, I was having a bit of a quarter life crisis and grew a little weary of people asking if my father and I were brothers. Either he looks younger than he is (which he does) or I look older than I am/was (which I do, without hair). Anyway, I tried several options, but ended up choosing the hair system route.

As most of you know, over the last few years Shannon and I have been going through a lot of transformation…namely, in the ways that our faith meets real life. One of those changes has taken place in the way we view our stuff. We’ve come to see our resources—possessions and finances—as belonging entirely to God. We are grateful that all of our needs have been met (and then some) and we have become aware of the extreme poverty that nearly half of the world lives in. Jesus tells us that anyone who is in need is our neighbor (Luke 10:29-37) and that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). Experts tell us that there are enough resources in the world for everyone, but, sadly, many people don’t share what they have with those who desperately need them. And I confess that I continue to stand guilty of not loving my neighbor as myself. But, I’m working on it.

Anyway, this last weekend, I taught from Luke 3 and the call of John the Baptist to repent. His call was directed at the religious, God-fearing people, who were devout in their religious practices—more devout than most self-professing Christians today. But, John’s call was to a repentance that produced fruit. The kind of fruit he called for was radical generosity. “Got two coats? Give one away. Got more food than you need? Share with those who don’t have enough.” I challenged our church to ask what John’s message of repentance means to them. So, naturally, I have to practice what I preach.

What it all boils down to is that I’m getting rid of my hair system. It just doesn’t seem right that I spend money on fake hair while others go hungry.

Now, I’m not telling you this to boast or brag. I’m really not. In fact, many of you might be thinking, “what’s the big deal?” You’re absolutely right to feel that way. The main reason for directing you to this blog (if you got the email, that is) was just to deal with two questions that I know will come up the next time you see me:

1. Whoa. Where’s your hair?
2. Why did you get rid of it?

So, hopefully I’ve answered those questions for you. And now, before I sign off, here’s a picture of me—the real, bald me.




Be a blessing today!

15 comments:

Haffner Home said...

I am proud of you Ryan!!! You look great!

Haffner Home said...

And, since the above post is from my wife, I'll agree then alert you of an idea I just had...instead of shaving my bear hair of a back...maybe I'll start collecting it so others with hair system needs could have a more cost-effective solution! [Ah]

Mark Bradshaw said...

Ryan, bald is beautiful, and Amos, that's pretty gross. :)

Rebecca said...

Fabulous! Hair is for the weak.

poefamily said...

Love you honey. I've loved you with and without hair. I'll keep loving you no matter what. I'm proud of you!

Foust said...

Have to agree with Mark, that is gross.

The Amsler Family said...

I think you look more like christ! You look great Ryan...I am proud of you, thank you for sharing. We continue to pray for your ministry and its success! God Bless

Shannon Pongratz said...

Jason and I are so very proud of you for your faithfullness and love for Christ!! What a great example of surrender!! And I like the look!!

The Liller Family said...

Way to go Ryan - I've always thought you looked great somewhat bald, so I'm happy to see you've returned to that look - but I'm even more impressed by the reason! It's a tremendous example of how we should all mirror that mindset. You're an inspiration to all of us and I'm really proud of you!!!

heather b said...

One handsome guy.

way to go :-)

Pwdrd Donuts w/Xtra Powda & Dandelion Chin Streaks said...

Oh, and by the way...brothers? Idiot!

Andy Keller said...

I'm proud of you Ryan!! You sparked some inspired conversation for Jenni and I at dinner. I appreciate you and your heart.

Brad and Tab said...

that's beyond awesome. I can't wait for Brad to read your story. Much love from the Smith fam.

The Poes said...

Ryan,
As always I am proud of your faithfulness to walk the walk.
Hey I think the bald look is in!
Love Ya!
Dad

Steven said...

Ryan,

Remember the song that I re-wrote for you. Don't go changing to try and please me, I love you with or without hair Mm Mm Mm....... I love you just the way you are, the God made you. I'm glad to see you following your heart. Duane ask me to tell you the same. You're a blessing.

Steven Quinn