My New Collection
This year I started a new collection and it is proving to be quite enjoyable. This hobby is free, requires no special travel, shelf space, or research--all reasons I’ve avoided becoming a collector in the past. I collect hair salon names and am highly entertained by the wide variety of titles for a business dealing with hair and all things beauty. While you are assessing the flaws in my character revealed by this hobby, take a look below at some of the titles in my collection and see if you share any of my thoughts.
Hairs 2 Ya, Salon – You might be ridiculing my Southern accent, but kudos to you for “salon” being the only word with traditional spelling.
Hairtrapeneur – It took me 30 minutes of practice to be able to pronounce this.
Split Ends – Shouldn’t hair stylists know that split ends are highly undesirable? Serendipity – So I might come out with something besides a haircut? How do I even know this is a hair place at all?
Suds – Is this for people or pets?
Hair Genesis – That is a pretty big claim my friend; maybe you should Google “Genesis.”
Sophisticutz – Clearly hours of thinking went into this one, creating a new word and all, then adding the fancy “z” at the end.
God is Good Salon - God is good, but is he cutting my hair?
Hair Port – Yes it’s near the airport, but I don’t know how I feel about the possibility of hair travel.
These are real names of real businesses, and I’m sure you are ready for me to make my point, although I hope you’ve enjoyed the brief tour of my collection.
Besides being a collector of hair salon names, I collect people’s stories. The things people share or don’t share are significant. Two people shared stories with me recently about why they left our church. They both dealt directly with hurtful comments. While I don’t think either statement singularly caused a person to leave, I do think the conversations in which they happened were the last straw. I also don’t believe that the offending speakers intended any harm--probably just the opposite. But when these people decided to share these conversations with me, what I heard were people who hadn’t felt connected, seen, wanted, or loved for a long time. That’s a kick in the stomach to me and makes me incredibly sad. For whatever reason, the relationships weren’t strong enough to weather the comments, and the comments caused anger instead and proved to be the catalysts for these individuals to leave.
I’m convicted that people desire deep relationships but don’t know how to create them, just like salon owners desire to choose the perfect creative business name, but might choose a title that pushes people away. I’m also equally convicted that those of us established in churches just don’t see the disconnect until it is possibly too late. We drive right by Hair Port because we don’t really mind it being there, but don’t really want to go in. More frustrating than anything for me is that despite multiple invitations for small groups, retreats, and activities, these isolated people will most likely remain uninvolved.
So what do we do? While I don’t think 100% of the responsibility is on any one person, I would like to invite us to think about a more personal interest in others. We don’t have any trouble being nice, but we can’t possibly think that is enough. Words can be the catalyst for someone to leave, and they can also be the catalyst for them to stay. Ditch the easy sarcastic comments altogether and just genuinely check in with people. Talk to them. Here is a good short list:
Ask if you can pray for them
Send a text
Ask them to sit with you
Ask about kids, work, volunteer work
Invite them to lunch
Ask them to work on a project with you and use that time to get to know them
The list goes on to infinity of course, and the last thing I want to do is create a program. My personal conviction is just to open my eyes, seek out people beyond my normal circle, and try to facilitate deeper relationships. My guess is that serendipity will take place because God is good, and I will be blessed by spending some time in Hair Port.