I could feel the tension the moment I walked in to get my hair cut. Two hairdressers stood cutting and there wasn’t a similarity between them.
On one side stood the cheerful extravert. She chatted with her customers on any subject from jobs to legos. As each new customer walked in the door they were greeted by her boisterous welcome.
On the other side stood the extravert’s opposite. She talked enough with each customer to know the haircut they wanted but not much more. Where the extravert was clean cut, the introvert had multiple detailed tats and at least 4 different facial piercings.
Sitting in the waiting area you could see each customer lean forward as the extravert came calling and cower back as the introvert appeared.
After waiting for about 30 minutes my turn came. The introvert walked forward and said “Wes” in a voice just loud enough that I could hear. As I was walking past the station of the extravert she passively criticized the introvert. I could feel the tension.
In my seat, my hair stylist asked me what I wanted and then went about cutting my hair. There was no empty chatter, no discussion of work, hobbies or kids. She simply cut my hair. I am pretty good at reading people and I could tell on this visit that no small talk was happening.
As the haircut concluded I stopped, looked my stylist in the eyes (through the mirror) and said thank you. She looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language.
My stylist took me to the register to finish my visit. Standing behind the cash register, out of the blue, the stylist looked at me and said “My name is Elizabeth”. I looked back at her and said, “It’s good to meet you Elizabeth. Thank you for the haircut, you did a good job.”
A genuine smile covered her face from ear to ear.
As I was driving home this odd encounter got me thinking. I did not see Elizabeth give her name, nor smile once at any customer that preceded me.
I wonder how many customers treated her poorly because of her image, how many people just moved through because she was quiet.
This past week I challenged our church to open their eyes to see the people and needs of our community. I challenged our church to show the love of Jesus to people who weren’t expecting it.
I wonder how many Elizabeths we write off or pass by on a regular basis.
I didn’t get the chance to share the gospel with words yesterday, but I hope I showed the love of Christ through my actions. This morning I prayed for Elizabeth and in a month I will go back to the tension filled discount hair shop, ask for Elizabeth to show the love of Christ to and possibly start a conversation with.