Friday, September 14, 2007

God the hairdresser

haircut.jpg I wrote the following for my fortnightly radio slot. Those who have seen me in the flesh recently might appreciate that this post has multiple layers.

I got a glimpse of God at a hairdresser this week. It’s not a place I usually expect to see God.

But I was early for my appointment and I had to wait. As I waited I caught a glance. Just as the hairdresser finished cutting, made the last snip on a beautiful new hairstyle. And the client saw herself. And this look of pure joy crossed her face. And she stepped off the chair. And she was different. More confident. More like a new person.

It reminded me of the image of God in Ezekiel 16:10-12:I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.

This image of God as like a fashion designer, wanting to make the nation of Isreal look good. Just like that hairdresser. Creating a new hairstyle and making a person look good.

But clothes and hair are on the outside. Surely God is more interested in our inside?

Which reminded me of the way in a well-known Australian hairdressing salon actually select hairdressers.

First they advertise: Wanted hairdressers:

If you apply, they then send you on a 3 day “discovery” week. On the first day they invite you to tell their story. And you are watched. And you’re sent home if you don’t listen well. So that’s their first criterion in selecting candidates to be hairdressers: do you listen well.

On the second day, they test for creativity. They ask you about your hobbies. Do you enjoy being creative? If not, they send you home.

On the third day, they check for team players. In other words, can you work with other people. Can you be creative as a team with your client?

And only then does this hairdressing company set about training you to cut hair.
Because hair dressing is not just about the outward appearance. It’s not just about cutting hair. It’s first about listening and relating with people. It’s second about creativity. It’s third about being a team and together creating.

Which explained that moment that I saw in a hairdresser’s this week. That last snip. That new hairstyle. And that look of sheer joy. That sense of change both inside and outside.

And perhaps that’s why I saw God. Because God is like a hairdresser:
Ready to listen to each of us.
Able to create.
Wanting to share that creativity in partnership with us.

This articlehelped shape my thinking, as did the excellent book by Robert Banks, called God the Worker.

Posted by steve at 04:20 PM


  1. These wouldn’t be the layers that were somewhat ‘missing’ on Wednesday? 🙂
    Didn’t know you had a fortnightly radio slot. What station and when? 🙂

    Comment by Ryan — September 15, 2007 @ 6:41 am

  2. it’s a Viewpoint slot on Rhema, 8:35 on a Tuesday morning every fortnight. Been doing it since the start of the year. It’s a wierdly impersonal form of communication: they ring up, I talk to a telephone, and then meet people who say “oh thanx for what you shared on the radio”

    Comment by steve — September 15, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

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