I met a girl the other day who wanted a very specific haircut. She used two pictures to show me her ideas and they both required a brave hairdresser. I was her third attempt at getting the look she wanted. Nobody else would go short enough. “It will look like a man’s haircut,” they told her.
“Yeah,” she says, “I know.”
I loved the haircut. It was funky and bold.
I have colored a guys hair to match his prom date’s dress. I have dyed a chunk of black and purple stripes in the hair of a single mom. I get the fun people. I help them express themselves and some people have some important things to say.
Like this girl. She told me that her hair used to be down to her hips until recently. Nobody makes a huge hair change without a huge life change, so I asked her what it was. I learned that she had been horribly taken advantage of and traumatized in her first year of college. It was so bad that when she looked in the mirror, she wanted to see somebody different.
I knew she wouldn’t say she wanted to look like a boy. I don’t think she even knew it. It wouldn’t matter to her that changing her look won’t change what happened. Pointing out the obvious won’t keep her from waking up screaming in the night trying to regain control.
I didn’t feel the need to try to talk her out of a remedy that won’t work. I didn’t do that because that’s not what I think God does. I don’t think that God always tells the person with OCD that he doesn’t need to wash his hands five times. I think He makes sure he always has soap.
God meets people where they are even if they shouldn’t be there. If God never leaves you, that means that where you go, He goes. No boundary exists that He can’t cross. When you’re lost, He’ll find a way to let you know that He’s there, too. You’re never alone. You’re never really lost.
Love is the most powerful weapon for saving people. Love is strong enough to not have to wait for you to meet a set of standards. There is nothing more powerful than love. If there was, He would have used it instead.
This girl needed to feel more powerful than she was. To her, the most powerful person she could think of was the one who overpowered her. A boy. She needed to feel more like a boy and I gave her my best version of her vision.
She left practically skipping like the little girl she was trying to drown out.
She’ll grow from here, but she needed this pretend strength for now. She’s going to make it and I got to be a little part of dressing her up so that she feels safe again.
They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. -Genesis 3:7
God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them. -Genesis 3:21
God meets you where you are, even if you shouldn’t be there. He helps you survive where you shouldn’t have wandered. He does this so that you know He’s there and that He loves you. You won’t always be where you are, but no matter where that is, He’s there, too.