He stared in the mirror, annoyed at the situation.

He had been applying more and more product to the course brown strands jutting up from his scalp. It was kind of doing what it was supposed to, but not at the same time. His hair made him look like a tool that was trying too hard, which was about true. Four minutes into styling, he realized that no man should take this long to do his hair. It was time for a cut.

The work day came and went as they all do, too fast at some points, and excessively slowly at others. It was time to head up the hill to the walk-in franchise hair studio.. or salon… whatever it was, it probably didn’t qualify as either of those, but the people there always seemed to do a decent job.

Once at the place, he stood at the front desk. The salon was empty. No clients, no employees visible from his vantage. He stood there, playing on his phone for several minutes before a disheveled blond lady who reeked of cigarettes appeared, noticed him and charged his direction, apologizing for his wait, along the way.

She took his information introduced herself as Claire and invited him to follow her back to her work station. Combs, scissors, clippers and business cards littered the small counter below a giant mirror. The work station mirrored its occupant, which made her client cringe, just a little. He hoped she wouldn’t cut his hair in any way that conformed to her presentation thus far.

After untangling the cord from several others, Claire attacked her project with the clippers. He stayed quiet, assuming that conversation would distract Claire more than she already seemed to be. She wasn’t interested in silence. She asked,

Have you ever had a week that you thought was going to kill you?

Claire’s attempt to elaborate on challenges in life tumbled out as she circled her subject. Her story poured out in words as chunks of his hair fell to the ground. She never made any specific admissions. She never got into the details but verbally worked out her feelings of hopelessness. Her audience was captive and only managed to sputter out short sentences encouraging her to continue talking, that he was indeed interested in what she had to say.

Fifteen minutes later, Claire walked her client back up to the front desk. She apologized for vomiting her story on him, was sorry that she elaborated on things he couldn’t care less about. He took out his wallet, handed her his debit card and she began to silently process it on the computer. This was his chance.

You know, Jesus loves you. God has a plan for your life, too.

Things might suck now, but God’s reliable and if you just ask Him…

Claire looked up at him. Her lip trembled, or at least he thought it did. Claire didn’t say anything but let him ramble.

He thinks so highly of you, even when you make mistakes.

We all make mistakes you know, it’s why Jesus had to die for us…

Claire handed him his card and a receipt to sign. Which he did. He handed Claire the pen, receipt and her tip. He then offered his blessings and indicated that he knew that her situation would improve then disappeared out the door. He ran to his car and began to pray for Claire.

He planned on telling her about Jesus the minute he realized she was having a bad day and that she didn’t already know Him. This knowledge became apparent at about the time she was washing his hair, midway through his haircut. It was all he could think about the rest of the time but, he imagined it going differently.

He pictured tears in her eyes as he got to introduce her to the best relationship she could ever have. He imagined sitting next to Claire in church that Sunday and even introducing her to people after service. Once in his car, he couldn’t help but feel like he had either failed or had an over active imagination. Perhaps both were true.

Things don’t necessarily turn out how we imagine, but that doesn’t mean they turn out badly, either. Claire heard some amazing news. Maybe it changed her life and we just don’t know yet.