Today I had my hair done by a drag queen . . .
Well, he wasn’t actually in drag while doing my hair but he did have some pretty spectacular pictures to show me.
When I called to schedule with my regular stylist last week, I found out she had moved. So I told them to just place me with whomever had an opening. My appointment was scheduled and boy was I excited to get pampered for a little while! When they told me Jerry (that’s what we will call him for privacy) would be doing my hair, I thought I recognized the name. I had seen him before in the salon. I knew who he was and had heard a bit of his story from salon chatter in the past.
Before I went to my appointment this morning I talked briefly with a local friend and told her my plans for the day. She asked who was doing my hair as she goes to the same salon. “My appointment is with Jerry, my girl has moved away” I told her. Instantly her face changed to a look of disgust and shame, “Jen you should not let him touch your hair! He is a drag queen!” My heart skipped a beat from her words. Was this a sister in Christ speaking these harsh words? She proceeded to tell me a list of reasons why, as a “good” Christian, I should not support this man in any way. I was nearly speechless at her reaction. The thought to “not let him touch my hair” had not even occurred to me.
After our conversation I found myself wondering, “What will I talk about with this man? Should I wear a Christian t-shirt? What will I think of him? What will he think of me? Will he know I am a Christian?”
Have you ever asked these questions before? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you are next to someone who is so far from God? Did it change who you were or how you acted? Should it have?
Here’s the thing . . . Jerry is a person. Jerry is loved by the King of Heaven just as I am. Jerry is probably lost and no where near to God. Jerry’s choices may be wrong in my eyes, but his wrongs are no greater than any of mine. How will Jerry ever know the love of Christ if I, “as a good Christian” don’t support him? If Jesus was walking the earth today and needed His hair cut, I am pretty sure He would choose Jerry’s chair before anyone else’s in that salon.
I hung up the phone with my friend, shook my head at the odd conversation, and started getting ready for my appointment. I did not wear a Christian t-shirt. You see, Jerry may be my “one” – the person God is divinely placing in my path to show His love to. If I walk into that salon with a blazing, in-your-face Christian t-shirt and my holier-than-thou attitude will that point Jerry to Christ in a positive way? Is that what Jesus would have done? No. I knew going into today that Jerry was probably pretty distant from God, and he probably liked it that way. It is not my place to judge Jerry. I truly believe that. In the eyes of our Savior, my sins are no different from Jerry’s. The Bible tells us that
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23
I grabbed my keys and jumped in the van. The hair salon is only about 3 miles from the house so I was there before the van even got warmed up from the frigid air outside. As I put the van in park, I laid my head down on the steering wheel.
Sweet Father, help me to be your light to this man’s world today. God I want him to see You in me and I want him to see You in your true nature….a loving, forgiving, life-giving, abundant in grace, sweet, sweet Lord. I want Jerry to laugh with me and feel comfortable with me. Father I know if I go in there with my holy guns blazing and my hell-is-hot attitude on Jerry will not see You but instead just another judgmental religious person. Jerry is so far from you God, but he is still Your creation and I know that You love him and died for him just as you did for me. Help me, Father, to make a connection with Jerry in a way that is different from the rest. Help me leave here today, not just with beautiful hair, but with the beginnings of a friendship that will connect this man to Your people. God I believe that I was given this appointment today by divine intervention, every person I come into contact with is by Your divine purpose. Help me not to waste it by being intimidated or selfish. I want Jerry to know that I am a Christian, but more than that I want Jerry to notice something different about me. A joy that comes from a relationship with the King of Heaven. A peace that comes from walking hand in hand with my Savior. I don’t need to lecture or preach to Jerry, I need to show Jerry Your love. Help me, Father, to use this opportunity to build up Your people and Your Kingdom. Amen
For the next three hours I sat in Jerry’s chair. Yes I know that is a long time……it take a while to control this head of hair. I have never laughed so hard in a hair salon before. Jerry was passionate about what he does and completely unashamed. He loves helping people and has raised millions of dollars for different charities. He loves to laugh and make others smile. He is an excellent hair stylist. And just to be honest, he makes an incredibly beautiful woman! Just sayin…
Jerry and I did not talk about God or church at all. Not even once. Many people would tell me that was a waste of an opportunity to share the gospel with him. I don’t see it that way at all. You see, today Jerry and I started a friendship. One that will last the course of time that I am here in Ohio. Though he doesn’t know it yet, today was step one in connecting Jerry to God’s people. Once he is connected to God’s people, he will begin to connect to God’s word and then to God’s son.
Our wonderful pastor tells a perfect example about accepting Christ. When you first met your spouse, like the very first time you were introduced did you know that was the person you were going to marry? For some, your answer may be yes. Even if it is yes, did you ask that person to marry you the very day you met them? Probably not. Why? Because marriage is a big deal! It’s a lifetime commitment to another person. Most people need to get to know that person over the course of a long period of time before making that decision right? Now how much “bigger of a deal” is it to give you life completely to Christ? It is way bigger! It’s eternity! It’s everything!
Jerry isn’t ready to be slapped in the face with a Bible and forced to make a decision today. I realize sometimes that does happen, and of course God can and has used radical moments in life to change people. I am not saying this could not happen with Jerry. But I believe that the Jerry’s of this world may not be able to see and feel the love of Christ in quite such a confrontational way. There is a major trust issue going on here. And if you ask me I think it has more to do with the Christians of this world that hold hatred and anger towards Jerry. What right do we have to despise him? Shame on us!
Today begins a page in my war room for Jerry. He won’t know it but he is on my list! I will be a regular in Jerry’s chair, not just because he does awesome hair, but because I desperately want to show him the love of my Jesus. The only way he is going to see that is through a trust relationship where he can see that something is different in me. I am positive over the next year we will have conversations about God and church. Through those conversations I want Jerry to see something different from what he has experienced in the past. I want him to see joy and peace and love. I want him to see Jesus.
Jesus did not go to the local Christian barber shop for a $5 trim. Jesus would have gone to Jerry to get His hair cut I am sure. How else will Jerry ever know Him?
Who has God placed in your path today? Was it someone you noticed or did you overlook them as someone you didn’t have time for? I encourage you today to pray for God to send you that one person who you can show His love to. If you ask Him, He will send someone so be on the lookout. It may not be who you expect. It may just be a drag queen at the hair salon!