On Monday night I went for my usual hair color and cut from Joanne. It had been seven weeks since my last appointment and I told her she'd need an extra large batch of color to cover all my gray hair. A couple customers came and went during my long process and then it was just me with Joanne, Hope, and Debbie.
Beautification takes a long time at my age.
The latest book I'm reading (and so far loving) What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, lay on the ledge at Joanne's station. Who knew it would begin a conversation about being judged, faith, grace, and where I went to church?
Hope and her friend traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to shop around the farmers' market and a man asked them if they knew what "being born again" meant. Hope's friend must have been sharing quite a dramatic personal experience because Hope kept saying, "Oh my God."
Eventually the man turned to Hope and asked her if she realized that she was cursing God with that phrase, and she asked me it I had heard of that before. For those who know me well (my kids)...I never say that phrase. I do believe that is using the Lord's name in vain. Yet this year I had chosen the word "grace" to focus on, and to live through. So I explained that I say, "Oh my gosh."
Hope and her friend talked about the man and the conversation on their drive home and her friend told her that God knows what she means/is on the inside. I nodded in agreement with what her friend said and then Hope noticed that her friend said the phrase twice on the way home. I told her that I thought it was interesting that she now was aware of someone saying the phrase and remembering how many times it was said. (Like God was shining a spotlight on it for her, I thought.)
She turned to me and asked, "Am I going to hell?"
That startled me!
My answer was, "I have learned that I am not the judge of who goes to heaven or hell." I pointed upward and said, "He is." And then I smiled because my words weren't meant to sting, they were meant to soothe, because the older I become, the more I draw great comfort knowing God is in charge, not me.
Our conversation moved toward why I bought the book and my explanation about how I realized the abundant grace I receive from God is meant to be shared with others. (Side note: I also told her that my word for 2010 was her name. Hope. She smiled.)
Hope asked if I went to church, I said yes and she asked where.
Today I was reading What's So Amazing About Grace? and on page 40 he wrote, "The world starves for grace."
Yes. I believe we do.
And I believe that with God's help some of Hope's "hunger pangs" were fed on Monday night.
A conversation about God and no more gray hair. It was a win/win night.
So what's so amazing about grace?
Today I think my answer is everything.
God's grace shows up in quiet moments and in shared moments in a beauty shop. He continues to surprise and amaze me.
Has God surprised or amazed you lately?