Some of you know what I mean. That local salon where you go to get a wash and cut that could take 25 minutes but it takes an hour and fifteen because you love the gal that cuts your hair and you end up talking about everything that's happened in the last two months (after she fusses at you for not getting your hair cut more often than that). It's straight out of Steel Magnolias, I swear.
Well, I never knew what that was like until I moved to Macon. I often feel like I'm on a Southern shot movie set. I first went to this random salon because a friend of mine from college and from Macon used to go there. I've been going ever since. I'm pretty low maintenance about my hair, so as long as I enjoy the person cutting it I'm not that picky.
Anyway, tonight when I walked in the salon I noticed a character in the booth next to my gal's that made me very uncomfortable. Reason being that he had followed me from the hospital to my car one night after I got off, in the dark, asking me for money. Fortunately another girl from my unit had left shortly after me and waited in the parking lot until he left me alone.
Just a few weeks later I'd seen him at my church. We meet downtown and all the local street walkers come to our service, they eat our doughnuts, drink our coffee and then nap in the back row during the sermon. It's fine with me, a warm dry place and the Word does not return void. But when I saw this particular man there I walked in the other direction, annoyed. Annoyed because he had followed me, scared me, lied to me, and was now taking advantage of my church.
Needless today, when I saw him today next to Kiersten's booth I was skeptical. When I knew he was too far away to hear me I asked her who he was. She said he was new, just got a job there cutting hair and that she had a tremendous amount of respect for him. "But he..." I started to say, "Was homeless?" she finished. "Well, yes," I said, putting my head down so that she had to straighten it to keep cutting.
"Yeah, he was a drunk but has turned around." Wow, I thought. She went on to say that he's been attending three different churches and a lady at one of them has allowed him to move into her basement. She comes to our salon and she got him a job. He's totally sober now and committed to changing things. He's an amazing person. He was very quiet at first, but has begun to open up to them one by one.
Wow. At that point I told her I was sorry for being so judgmental. He had scared me months before and I hadn't forgiven him. I honestly hadn't wanted to see him again. I felt like such a jerk.
I've been learning how to engage the poor since I started attending New City Church, and it seems that I am still failing miserably. I've always been a skeptic. Sometimes it's a good thing, but most of the time it causes me judge others, not even giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Kiersten and I have talked about Jesus a few times. Never in much detail. But she was loving like Him today, and taught me a little bit about respecting the second chance.