I walked in to the salon with an extremely uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Hair salons and I have never mixed very well, and partly because of the way that I was raised.
I gave my name at the counter, took a seat by the door and amid the chatter coming from the workstations I could hear the words of my dad echoing in my head, "Son, men don't go to hair salons, they go to barbers! If it does not have a striped pole out front, a man behind the chair who smells like Brute, and a plethora of stuffed and mounted animals on the wall then you need to stay clear!"
I was sitting there in this salon, overruling these words in my mind, because my wife made me an appointment to be here, but what I did not know was that God made the appointment long before my wife had even picked up the phone.
Yep, The Holy Spirit made a divine appointment at the Regis hair salon in the BelAire Mall!
Ever since i was old enough to comb my own hair, i have combed it like Elvis. I thought that he had the coolest hair, and it did not matter if it had been out of style since before I was born, I combed it and wore it proud! I do not care for his voice as a singer very much, but the man had the hair going on!
I know that this sounds crazy, but I had spent a ridiculous amount of time combing and making sure that every hair was perfectly in place.
I recently found this old picture in a box of my things where I was working an over the top Elvis pose... "Thank you, thank you very much".
This was fine if the look was Elvis in his twenties, but now I was in my mid thirties and starting to resemble the Vegas years Elvis, and "ain't nobody got time for that". I needed a change.
So here I am sitting in a hair salon waiting area, looking through all of those hair books at people that looked NOTHING like me, and wracking my brain trying to figure out a hair style to choose.
Then Joyce came around the corner and said, "Hey, you ready Mr. Daniel?"
Joyce stood out immediately because of the smile on her face and it emanated from a deeper source than just a pleasant personality or a cup of coffee that she started the day with.
I sat down in her chair and she asked me, " How old are you Mr.Daniel"?
"I'm thirty four", I replied to which she began to shake her head disapprovingly.
"Mr. Daniel, that hair has got to go! You look at least ten to fifteen years older than that and I am going to give you a beautiful haircut, because that is what I do!" she replied as she began to clip and spray.
As she cut she told me about her children and grandchildren, the things in the world that got her riled up and about the things that life had brought her way, and I just listened and felt what seemed like pounds of my hair fall to the floor.
It was the books that she had on her workstation, the window overlooking the mall where her workstation was located, the way that she phrased things and the responses that she gave to the things that she was asked by her family members that caught my attention.
We began to talk about Faith, and God, and the church and where society was headed when she just asked, "Mr.Daniel, the things we are talking about here about the Father, I don't see how people cannot see their need for Him. They walk past my window all day long and it breaks my heart sometimes to see how empty they seem."
That is when I became aware that this was no ordinary hair cut and that this was a divine appointment!
"Joyce", I asked, "What does your name mean?" (See Hello my name is)
"I don't know," She replied. " I guess i never really thought about it before."
"Your name means Beautiful", I replied.
"Joyce, look where God has placed you and what He has placed you doing. Each day you stand here and help people who come in with outdated hairstyles see themselves as beautiful when they look in the mirror. You help them see themselves the way that God has always seen them. Beautiful."
I could see the wheels turning as Joyce processed this. "Joyce, you are a beautiful person inside and out and God gave you your name and your way of thinking so that when you are surrendered to Him, you are able to express that attribute of Him to everyone that He brings to this chair and past your window. It has come out in every story you have told me about your family. They bring a hurt to you and God gives you the words to help them see beauty for ashes. What are the odds of that happening?"
Joyce lit up!
"Joyce, God made you to express to others that He is beautiful, and He gave you the skill to help people see that God made them beautiful! Not only do I look ten to fifteen years younger, but God allowed you to see that was only possible if Elvis left the building!".
The more we talked, the more obvious that it became that God had instilled within her the desire to make things beautiful since she was a little girl, and that this beautiful lady was expressing Him in ways that no building, program, sermon, or song could ever hope to. She was just cutting hair every day and expressing Him to the people whose hair she cut.
He is not looking for you to "sell Him" or work whatever angle you can in order to "put someone into a relationship with Jesus today."
He does not need you to sell anything about Him or try to convince others that they need Him or that He will solve all of their problems.
He just asks you to tell others what He has done for you.
What does Jesus mean to you?
How is your life different today because you have Him than it was before you had Him?
Did you just live a life on a different moral plain or has He completely and internally re-wired the very fabric of you?
What Joyce discovered that day was the same thing that God opened my eyes to and it has changed everything about me. (See "What Is It?")
He placed her where He wanted her to shine and gave her the tools, skills, and personality to accomplish that process of "Shining".
God did not save me to "put me to work", but rather to enable me to now be able to follow Him. He gave me the ability to surrender all of me to Him and have Him shine through me.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16
I want to challenge you to take another look at the chair that God has given you and then look at every way that He has equipped you to shine for Him and allow Him to shine through you today!
Everything that He has allowed into your life up until this point have simply been needed tools to perfectly equip you to be and do what He has asked you to be and do. It is not just a chair, it is an opportunity!
Climbing with you,