Ode to a Stylist: A Christmas Blog


My haircut last night reminded me than when things seem to be screwed up is usually when a divine appointment will drop on your head.

I posted earlier that my “hair salon” was showing a 96-minute wait time. Right after dinner, though, it shrank to zero. So I logged in online and ran over there. I was the only one on the list.

And “Kay” waited on me.

This was a divine appointment. Kay is a young lady who has cut my hair quite a few times over the years, but I haven’t seen her in several years. I really wanted to, though. I had a score of sorts to settle.

It goes back to a haircut she gave me in June 2013. I remember the date because it was right after our Black Forest wildfire. Kay and I were talking about it that day, and all of a sudden she said, “Your haircut is on me.”

That typified the thoughtfulness we received after the fire, from all over the community. People who had no reason to bless us, no obligation, stepped up and showed glorious kindness. It’s one reason I love the people of the Front Range. And I was glad to get back here to see not only ministry people, but all people of the community—the vendors and shopkeepers, folks we had developed relationships with. (How do we expand the love of Christ if we don’t reach beyond our own circle?)

Tonight, I reminded Kay of the favor she had given me. She gave a little smile of recognition. Her response was humble and thoughtful: “With everything going on, you didn’t need to be concerned about a haircut.” We then talked about the fire, and things her own family lost, and how it’s the little things that sneak up on you when you lose everything.

She also gave me a glimpse into her world at work. I said they must be exhausted after this week. She said they were, and that they were suffering back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. I never thought about hairstylists having carpal tunnel, but I can see it now. The people that serve us in the community—what pain are they in? Do we make it better, or worse?

I left her a very nice tip. It wasn’t to “pay her back”—you don’t pay back a work of grace. You take the blessing and you try to be a blesser. Kay is the hero of this story, not me. She blessed me and I wanted to bless her when I could. It was my turn.

It’s often a painful world we live in, but it’s the little kindnesses that act like candles in the dark. They are things that glue humanity together, that bring richness, that make life a little more tolerable. They remind us that maybe we can make it after all. In my experience, often those kindnesses come from young people.

It’s the little kindnesses that draw us, via common grace, toward the “grand scale” of kindnesses: The kindness of people who offered a stressed husband and wife shelter from the cold. A donkey for the traveler. Gifts of spice. Gold for the journey.

The kindness of Someone Who offered a child.

For unto us a child is born, a son is given. . . so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 8, Ephesians 2).

Merry Christmas.

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