I trudged and slid through the slushy, ice-slicked parking lot of a local strip mall a few days ago. It felt so good when I first entered the warm salon, one of those thirteen buck, no-appointment places. When you have hair like mine, you just need someone with a sharp pair of hedgclippers or a small chainsaw to tame the mane every few weeks. The stylist nearest the door laid her scissors onto her table and walked to the counter to greet me.
“About how long for a haircut?” I asked.
She glanced at the waiting list. “About a half an hour or so. Can I get your name?”
“Michelle,” I replied. I looked around. There were no chairs in the reception area. At the rear of the store, behind the hairdressers’ stations, four chairs were being occupied by weary-looking people, coats pulled around them like cocoons, as they waited to be transformed into butterfles by a cheap haircut. “Uh…where should I wait?”
“Wait?” she echoed, then shrugged helplessly, waving her hand at the huddled masses at the rear of the store. “Well, you can leave and come back. I’ve got your name on the waiting list.”
I stood there for a moment, processing this information, thanked her and walked back into the dark. What was I going to do to kill a half an hour at the strip mall? Visit the dry cleaner? Skate around the parking lot in my boots?
I got in my car and drove a half mile up the road to another cheap haircut joint. Salon number one lost my business. And I got a cranky little reminder about the importance of making space for people, of being hospitable and welcoming.
Easy to say. Hard to do when my own heart has the same crowded, busy, preoccupied floor plan as that salon. Jesus’ beautiful words on this topic are so easy to hear…and so hard to do. Because we can’t. We’re helpless, save Him coming to rearrange the furniture in my soul and calming the internal chaos with Himself.
Maranatha, Lord Jesus.