I got my hair cut today as it had been about a month. I was there a few minutes early, as usual. I saw Misty’s car in the parking lot and whispered a word of thanks, grateful to have the opportunity to visit with her. As always, she greeted me warmly and invited me to take a seat. Misty has the gift of hospitality and her barber’s chair has become holy ground. We proceeded to get caught up on life and how things were going.
I’m not blogging on our personal blog as often as I used to. However, the last time I blogged, I wrote about Misty (https://themustains.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/a-minister-of-last-resort/) and how she was hopeful for a better 2015. Sadly, this hope has not yet coming to pass.
Much of our conversation today focused on “tough love.” Although Misty is older than me, has 19 year old, and a grand child, she looks to me for input as a dialogue partner. As I’ve said before, I think I am her minister of last resort. In short, she said it was one of the hardest decisions of her life but she had to kick her daughter and grand child out of her home. She gave me some details about some of the circumstances and asked if I thought she did the right thing? She said for the first time in her life, she feels she is “on the right track” and said she feels she cannot compromise the positive steps she has taken.
What do you say to a tough situation like this? The Judeo-Christian faith tradition seems to show us that a facet of God’s character is that of “tough love.” For God so loved us that God gave us the ability to say no, to think that we know better, and to go about life in our own way. For love to be genuine and real, there is risk involved. Love and risk go hand in hand. Love does not always get loves own way. So, if God is love, I believe that God does not always get God’s own way. That is why the Scriptures are full of stories of people straying from and (sometimes) returning to God. Love is messy, chaotic, and beautiful.
I remembered Misty was studying for a certification test so she could teach part time at cosmetology school. Unfortunately, Misty shared she failed her certification test by three questions. So, she is saving up so she can retake the test. She said she knows this is the next step she needs to take in life. I suspect some of the drama with her daughter took away from her ability to focus and study. Misty said 2015 hasn’t started the way she hoped but she is still hopeful. Every time I leave her chair, I know I have been in the presence of God. Throughout the course of our friendship, Misty has taught me more about love, hospitality, perseverance, and hope than she will ever know.
Today’s haircut didn’t really end on a nice “feel good” tone. That’s life sometimes though. Life and love are messy, chaotic, and beautiful. Somewhere in the midst of the chaos and the beauty, I believe Christ is there for me, for you, and for the Misty’s of the world. After reading this post, if you wouldn’t mind, say a prayer for Misty.