One late Friday night about 7 years ago, I decided to cut my hair. I had been growing it out for 7-8 months, taking on a new look. Now my hair decisions typically aren’t well thought out. It is usually after the clippers are going that I decide which attachment to use. This time I decided not to use an attachment at all; just shave it. The next morning I woke to Esther standing by our door staring at me. I had forgotten about my newly shaved head. And when I sat up to invite her over to cuddle, her cautious look turned to a smile of relief, realizing it was me. She said, “When I saw your head Dad, I thought you were a giant.”
Esther would now be correct, the baldest head laying in our bed IS a giant. She is larger than life when she wears that bald head of hers proudly, using it to start conversations about her story of cancer and faith in God. When she went to school to pick up the kids, two fifth grade girls stared at her. She smiled and engaged them. Time after time people notice her with a glance, then a second, then a prolonged third, as if to say “When I saw your head, I thought you were a giant.” And each time she gently smiles back as if to say, “It is okay to stare, as long as you ask me about my story.”
Tara is having a good week. Although her belly is still accumulating fluid and is slightly uncomfortable, her days have been filled with activity. They are getting back to what they used to be; wake up, get kids up, do bible study, fix breakfast, clean a little, take kids places, pay bills, etc. This is incredibly encouraging in light of where she was just 2-3 months ago. At that time she was doing good just to be upright.
This week, chemotherapy is on Friday. That is the only medical appointment of the week. The drugs are continuing to show effect on her body. She is just now getting over the mild nausea of last Friday’s treatment. Also her eyebrows and eyelashes are falling out. It actually looks kind of cool. She is more of a giant than Esther could have imagined.
Tara is a giant! An amazing lady of Biblical proportions!
I looked up the word “giant” in Strong’s. I thought of David fighting the giant Goliath. Most of the Strong’s number for the word giant show 7497 and simply mean Rephaim giants, an old tribe of giants who were large in stature, which physically you are not! But I found this most interesting: In Job 16:14 the Strong’s number is 1638 and means strong, brave and mighty. There are 158 verses that use this hebrew word! Some of those translations say valiant, upright, champion, chief, excel, mightiest and strongest. These words describe you! We all know of Job’s suffering and the verse is a part of Job’s response to the words of his “friends.” But here is Job in all his honesty, just like Jay is so honest in his assessment of the hardness of and suffering in your life. Verse 14 says about God “He breaketh me with breach upon breach; He runneth upon me like a giant. (1638) KJV “He breaks me with wound upon wound; He runs at me like a warrior (1638.)” NKJV.
Read through chapter 16 but keep on going to chapter 17 and see verse 9: “Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.” And then at the end he determines that if in this life only he had hope, he would be of all men most miserable. “No, as for my hope, that hope which I comfort and support myself with, who shall see it? It is something out of sight that I hope for, not things that are seen, that are temporal, but things not seen, that are eternal.’’ (remember 1 Cor. 4:17) What is his hope he will tell us in Job19:25. Non est mortale quod opto, immortale peto—I seek not for that which perishes, but for that which abides for ever.
(with help from Matthew Henry commentary). Keep on hoping, mighty Tara!