Even in the midst of a grueling battle with breast cancer that began in September, Anne Graham Lotz has been a model of faith and resilience. With every update she posts on her personal blog, the evangelist has been able to share how God has drawn her closer to Him under the most unlikely circumstances.
This week, Lotz described how the difficult and “humiliating” process of losing her hair and having her head shaved enabled her to understand one passage of Scripture in a new and profound way.
“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” reads the well-known verse from 1 Samuel.
Lotz noted that though many Christians are familiar with the text, our human can nature make it hard not to place our worth in appearances.
She went on to share two significant events in her life that have helped her take the words of 1 Samuel 16:1 to heart.
The first event occurred in 1986, when she and her family were burglarized, and “everything of value was taken” from their home.
“I was stripped of furniture, cameras, silver, the things my grandmother had left me, and all of my jewelry,” she wrote.
All of this happened less than two months before Lotz was scheduled to speak at the International Congress for Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam. When the day arrived and Lotz had to address thousands of fellow evangelists from around the world, she received this incredible insight:
“I was acutely aware that what I had to offer them had nothing to do with items that had been taken from me,” she wrote. “If there was to be any blessing, any encouragement, any word from the Lord to this gathering of men and women, it would come from the hours I had spent in prayer and in studying His Word. I knew that my real treasure was on the inside.”
Lotz cited two key biblical passages that affirmed her personal revelation:
This truth is underscored by the description of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament. The outside was covered in badger skins, which would give it a very ordinary appearance. No one would ever guess such a rough looking exterior could contain glory on the inside. But it did! Wood overlaid with gold, embroidered silks, golden vessels, and the magnificent Ark of the Covenant filled the Tabernacle with a dazzling, awe-inspiring beauty.
The apostle Paul reiterated this principle when he told the Corinthian believers that their lives were like jars of clay into which God poured the glory of His life and character. In other words, on the outside we may look ordinary, but on the inside God sees a reflection of Himself.
The second significant event occurred more recently, when Lotz began to experience hair loss from chemotherapy. The experience of having her head shaved by her hair stylist and fellow Christian, Doug David, shined new light on the words of 1 Samuel 16:7.
“For those of you who have been through this, you know that it is also a humiliating trauma,” Lotz wrote. “I was almost shocked to hear the familiar sound of my own voice coming from the face under the shorn head I saw reflected in the salon mirror! My immediate reaction was to quote God’s words…that God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. I am so thankful!”
She noted that though our eternal value lies not in our looks, it’s OK to acknowledge that “we do look on the outward appearance.”
Lotz closed by urging readers that when we are tempted to place our worth in our physical appearance, we must remember that “God looks on the heart,” and “the real treasure in on the inside.”