Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Haircut

"I hate this town."
Any of you who have ever been to Omaha know that it is a beautiful city. For someone to say this, there had to be something behind it.
I asked the brunette lady cutting my hair to explain herself and out gushed her story. It was sad. She left an established business, friends, customers, family...basically her home (in another state) to follow a man that she loved. But that "love" was short-lived. He dumped her soon after she moved here and she's been dealing with the pain ever since.
It was kind of funny, actually. I sat there and tried not to wince as she cursed, swore and stumbled through her story, hoping she would not snip off part of my ear. She told me that she knows she needs to work on her anger issues. She also confessed to me that she had quit smoking, but enjoyed the occasional beer here and there.
When it was over, I could tell she was overjoyed that I just listened to her. I kept waiting for her to ask what I did for a living. I wonder if that would have changed anything.
Sometimes, I have used the old guilt-trip, "Does anyone KNOW you're a Christian? Can they TELL?" when I'm teaching. Here's the problem with that logic...
What is the OTHER person's definition of "a Christian?"
If she had thought I was a Christian, she might have clammed up, thinking I was perfect and wouldn't identify with her struggles of anger, forgiveness, and addiction. She might have feared that I would berate her for not having a better vocabulary. She might have been mistreated by a Christian in the past. What if her "ex-boyfriend" was a "Christian?"
Don't get me wrong...I DEFINITELY want people to know I am a Christ-follower. But I hope that means they see Christ in me and not ME in me.

2 comments:

One Observationist said...

I've had similar thoughts while talking to people. Should I tell them I'm a Christ-follower? Most of the time I do not unless they specifically ask. Sometimes I'll bring the topic of religion up, but is normally only after I have either met with them a few times or the conversation lends itself to the topic.

Thanks for sharing your story. One of my favorite things to do is just sit and listen to people talk. Try to find out what makes other people tic. I have learned a lot about myself by simply listening.

Justin said...

Dude that's why you go to a guy to cut your hair. So you don't have worry about them cutting off your ear because they got dumped or something. Anyways glad you could be there for some one in need of a shoulder to cry on.