Wednesday, 29 October 2008

A blind haircut

I had my haircut today.

For me, having my haircut is an extraordinary event. For I am quite blind and have to take my glasses off when I sit in the chair, and so my experience of having my haircut is seeing a blurry figure dancing around slashing at my head with a pair of scissors.

It's also an extraordinary event because I get to see (in a metaphorical sense - remember the glasses are still off), the response of the hairdresser when I tell them that I'm a church minister. There's always a longer-than-average pause. I'm tempted to try out some different occupations on hairdressers just to see what gets the longest pause, but I fear I wouldn't be able to carry on the conversation in good faith when they ask me how I got into taxidermy.

The pause today was followed by 'oh, I'm not religious in any way. I'm really not religious at all. I've never really been to church'. We then spoke about all the churches she'd been to in Europe, and I tried to think of a way of explaining the gospel through reformation church history (but I find it hard to think quickly when I can't see clearly - remember, the glasses still off).

Later in the conversation we were talking about what a nice town Methven is, and how she likes it much more than Ashburton (Ashburton (or Ashvegas as it's known in our house) is the major town in mid-Canterbury). As we were talking about why it is that Methven is nicer than Ashburton, she relayed to me how a friend suggested to her that its because Ashburton has a major train track running through it, and that train line carries all the good energy out of the town. My hairdresser wasn't willing to rule that possiblility out.

And I realised that while I might be sitting there blind as a bat because my glasses were off, she was blinded in a far more terrible way. For the god of this age has blinded her eyes to the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor 4:4). The idea that a train track can carry good energy out of a town is entertained, but there is a refusal to go to hear how God carried her sins to the cross.

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