Friday, January 05, 2007

A Missional Conversation

The following is from an email forwarded to me by my friend and "second mother", Carol Thomas. While I don't spend much time in beauty shops, the conversation depicted does represent a world view that is very common today, and it also illustrates the ambivalance we face even when we missionally seek opportunities for conversation...

A lady went to a beauty shop to have her hair cut and her nails painted and trimmed.

As the beautician began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the beautician said : "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked Sheryl who has MS. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

Then Sheryl thought for a moment, but didn't respond because she didn't want to start an argument. The beautician just finished her job and the customer left the shop. Just after she left the beauty shop, she saw a woman in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and not groomed at all. She looked dirty and unkempt. Then Sheryl turned back and entered the beauty shop again and she said to the beautician: "You know what? Beauticians do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised beautician. "I am here, and I am a beautician. And I just worked on you!"

"No!" Sheryl exclaimed. "Beauticians don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and very unkempt, like that woman outside." "Ah, but beauticians DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me." "Exactly!"- affirmed Sheryl. "That 's the point! God, too, DOES exist!

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