When I was in my twenties, I worked in a hairdressing salon in Frankston, Victoria. It was a very busy salon, with over fifteen hairdressers and half a dozen nail technicians. We were innovative, exclusive and more than that; we were GOOD, and we knew it! Egos reigned supreme in that salon. The salon was owned by a man named Barry Page and he was an incredible teacher and father to us all. He knew how to build a team and he knew how to manage all of our personalities with the skill of an orchestra conductor. Working for Barry was a complete joy, and we all fought for his attention and love. When he let us know that we were doing a great job that was when we knew we had made it. I liked to think that I was his favourite! I am sure we all did.
Hayley was a part time hairdresser, but man-o-man, what a bitch she could be! Don’t get me wrong, she was nice enough most of the time, but when she snapped, she drew blood. Hayley knew how to cut right to the quick and get into your heart, bypassing your head. She was a surgeon with words, and if she wasn’t so good looking and talented, I am sure we would have killed her as she was blow waving. Like I said, it was a salon of egos.
It was tough for us all when Barry told us that he had sold the salon. The toughest part was the new owners, Bill and Kate. Nobody liked them or respected them, but we all had to suck it up. We were a team, for better or worse. Even though I had been in the salon for a long time, and I had a huge clientele, there was still a fight over “Top Dog”. The fight normally erupted between the two biggest egos in the place: mine and Hayley’s.
After I was made salon manager, I made some pretty bad choices. I was ill-equipped, and immature. One of the early decisions was to let Hayley go. Long story. I ended up leaving the salon after another 8 months to pursue my dream job at L’Oreal. I barely saw my old team after that. Until Zuckerberg came along and invented Facebook.
Three months ago, Hayley contacted me via Facebook. I noticed that she looked happy and reasonably stable, so I accepted her friend request. She sat in the background of my news feed and I looked on as she added posts, and I guess she did the same for me. Two weeks ago, Hayley started making an effort to get back in touch over the phone. I told Gaynor about it, and we both started to remember the old days [we worked together] with Hayley and we wondered aloud why she might be getting back in touch.
After some to-ing and fro-ing, Hayley and I managed to touch base. It was great! We reminisced together, apologised to one another and caught up on family, where we live now and work. It was a happy conversation, and fairly superficial. You know, it was “nice”. Then Hayley dropped the bombshell… she mentioned to me that she had noticed that I had become more “spiritual” of late and she wondered about that.
Now I am wary of these conversations, as I have had some “interventions” from old friends who think I have joined a cult and I have lost friends and family and even been abused by some old workmates. I decided in this instance to be bold, and I shared my entire testimony with Hayley. Lock…stock and two smoking barrels later, and after the tears had subsided [hers and mine] she said to me “I wish I could have that”. What happened next was amazing. I explained to Hayley how she COULD have this and what it meant. I told her that all of that pain, sorrow and shame that she felt from her past would be torn up in an instant by Jesus and forgotten about for all eternity. I told her that the book of her life would still have its cover, but the pages would now be perfect. The pages would be the same pages that Jesus has in His book. Her life would be without blemish and that she could be completely forgiven. I explain what Grace is, and how loved, how worthy and how wonderfully made she is. I asked her if she wanted all of that and when she said “yes”, I told her that all she had to do was to accept that Jesus died for her, and ask for forgiveness, and then we would pray together.
It’s a strange feeling leading someone in the sinner’s prayer over the phone, especially when you know that The Holy Spirit is the one calling the shots. It’s a strange feeling to know that God is using you in the middle of an ordinary day, but what a privilege to have Him use us like this. Hayley went to church the next Sunday, where (get this!) Barry [our old boss] was preaching AND she invited an old work colleague to church with her, Brooke, who re-committed her heart as well. God is always, has always and will always be walking and working with us, through us and in us.
Speak. He is listening.
Written by Grant Mullen