Anthony Whitlow – New Zealand

“Hairdresser” is an interesting term. It’s not like we put a dress on our hair, or put anything on it per say to dress it up. But I guess we have our hair cleaned up and trimmed. It would be kind of weird to call it a Hairbather or Hairtrimmer. Heh. Anyway….

Last Wednesday (March 5), I had some errands to do in town. One of those was to get my hair cut. My hair had grown shaggy and much work to deal with. And it would be my last haircut until I would be home in May (just less than three months!). The only reason I go to this particular shop is because someone recommended it, and it is right at the center of town so it is convenient when there are other things I need to get while in town or at the plaza/mall. I had been there twice before and simply got my hair to a shorter size and left. On those other two trips to this hairdresser, there was some chitchat and small talk, but this third trip was a little bit different.

After I arrived, I sat patiently on the bench, waiting my turn, before a woman came out of the back and directed me to the chair. Instructed about how I wished my hair to be “dressed,” she began to cut my hair and begin in the normal small talk. How are things? What do you do? Where are you from? Are you in university? You know, those sorts of things. Eventually, my answers led to talking about how I was studying to be a pastor of a church. There were a few moments of silence and I debated on where I wanted to take the conversation. I decided to use this opportunity to open the conversation and hear what she thought about the “church” concept. So I asked her, “What do you think about church.” She got a little nervous and said that she really didn’t know what to think. Going to church was simply just something that she had never done. Through that, I was able to share my opinion of what it meant to me to go to church. This lead into being Christian, if Catholics are Christians, Sabbath, creation, sin, Jesus, salvation, and even the end of time. I don’t remember exactly everything I said, but I know I said a lot. I hope that what I said was able to make a difference in her mind.

Before long, my haircut was finished. (Or should I say after long because my hair was now short…) She grew quiet as she was trying to process everything I had said. I encouraged her to ask questions and keep seeking out the answers to the questions. I gave her my email and the website for the SDA church so that she could have a place to go look for answers. I also invited that if she wanted to, she could come to church on Saturday but she said she worked.

I don’t know if I did everything right that day in sharing my faith, but I hope that God was able to use me to reach out to this person and get her thinking about God in a positive light and want to seek answers more about God. As of this point, I haven’t gotten an email from her, but I hope that she will seek out someone to help her answer Biblical questions.

This was a really awesome experience for me because this was the first time I ever wished that I had pamphlets or tracts or something to give to someone. I felt a lot better after this experience and felt happy because I was able to share Jesus with someone. This hairdresser is definitely going to be someone who is on my prayer list. To reflect back on this, Christians should be doing this all over the place wherever we are—keeping an open mind in conversations and sharing God’s love with them.

Keep an eye out, Christians, you never know where your next opportunity to witness will come from. Maybe even while you are getting your hair cut.

Anthony Whitlow - NZ

*This was originally posted on Anthony Whitlow’s blog on March 8, 2014.  Anthony returned in May 2014 from serving as an Assistant Boys’ Dean for 11 months at Longburn Adventist College in Palmerston North, New Zealand.  This has been re-posted with his permission.

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