My husband Caleb is a teacher and I stay at home. We live off of one salary, so we budget our money and sometimes look for ways to cut costs or not spend money on things we don't have to. We've been talking for a few years about how I should learn to cut Caleb's hair; what's been holding me back primarily are my visions of completely butchering the fading aspect. If it was a simple buzz cut, I guess I could do it. But since we're talking this fancy stuff of switching from this clipper to that clipper and fading, and so on and so forth...I don't know. That just seems a bit out of my league.
Anyway, I told Caleb when we were driving to the hair salon the other day that I'd be willing to learn to cut his hair this summer. We were estimating how much money a year it would save us, and although it's not a huge amount, I was ready to bite the bullet.
However, something changed my mind.
I've always feel a bit uncomfortable in hair salons.
I've always felt it, but I never really put my finger on why until just recently. It's something about the feeling of a certain KIND of beauty being the standard that is welcomed and celebrated and expected there, in that place, and I feel, subconsciously, like I don't fit the mold. So when I go there, and when I chat with the woman cutting my hair, or with the person cutting my husband's hair, I feel like I have to live up to some kind of standard, and I feel like I'm pretending.
So I tend to feel uncomfortable, which makes me a little bit unnatural, and I'm not normally thinking too thoughtfully about the people cutting the hair. If I'm honest, I'm more thinking about me and how I can cover up my uncomfortable less-than-the-standard-of-beauty feeling in that place.
But on the day that we were considering officially making the switch to me becoming the new hair stylist in our home, something kind of switched for me in my mentality. My mentality in all my other interactions in places like that had been to kind of hold back. But on that day, my husband did something that showed me another option. The lady that was cutting his hair was chatting teasingly with another hair stylist about hell, and what actions 'send you to hell.' Caleb decided to jump in and start talking for real about hell, and about what people think, and what he believes and what Jesus has done. He talked about how he has done plenty of good things, but none of that can save him from hell; it's only Jesus sharing his blood. She ended up sharing some of her story, leaving the surface-y type conversation that's typical of a place like that, and talked a bit about her real pain. After we left the hair salon, we talked to our daughters about the interaction, and we prayed for the lady. We all felt like we wished we could have done a bit more, so we wrote a letter to the lady and drove back to the hair place, and gave her the letter.
In those moments, in that interaction, something in me started to shift.
The first thing was pretty practical: I don't think I'll be becoming the hair cutter of the family for now. Even if it saves us a little bit of money, it's not worth it to miss out on an opportunity to follow up on a moment that the Spirit of God was giving our family to reach out to someone who needs HIs healing touch.
The second thing that started to shift in me was a thought process: I want to be able to see where the Spirit is moving, and what He is doing, even if it's in a place where I feel a bit uncomfortable or a bit intimidated. Jesus wants to walk into hair salons, and into places of messed up concepts of beauty, and into the wordiness...and one of the primary ways He walks into rooms and places and spaces is through us. Through His Spirit that He's placed in His followers. When we walk into a room, He does too. His peace comes in. His gentleness comes in. His discernment walks in. But I have to be willing to put aside my discomfort and my walking in my flesh, and engage in His Spirit and what He's doing.
Third, and last, this interaction reminded me of a quote I read one time that keeps coming back to me over and over and over again: "Be a Regular. Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places. Get to know the staff. Go to the same places at the same times. Smile. Ask questions. Build relationships. Be a Regular.” (https://www.vergenetwork.org/2011/06/08/8-easy-ways-to-easily-be-missional/) I tend to want to be more invisible when it comes to everyday stuff, especially if I'm uncomfortable or if I'm in a rush. But I'm inspired again after this interaction to try to keep showing up in my community, in my town, being a regular, being the light of God in a dark place.