I don’t know what came over me?
Well, I guess I do know, but would anyone believe it?
It’s the Friday before Christmas, and all through the town, not a single person was waiting as they rushed all around! Gas stations were jumping and traffic lights too, as all through the city people moved! They fled from their boredom and raced into freedom with one thought in mind! Can I possibly get home in time?
Well…nice try, but enough of that. I actually left my house just ahead of rush in hopes of getting a haircut I badly needed. So I go to my usual Great Clips only to discover one poor woman frantically cutting hair. She actually had to leave her customer to greet me at the counter! I saw five people setting and one in the chair, while the poor lady left cutting the hair! To my attention she hurried, as the old man’s hair stood all a flurry! Oops, there I go again. Sorry.
I asked if she was the only one working? She said, “Yes.” I asked how long the wait? She said, “Two hours.” Wow. I thanked her and quietly left. What to do now? Give up? And then I remembered a place caught my eye! Might as well give it a try! So I dashed to my Civic with bells on my toes and yelled onward to Blitzen, and wished we had snow!
I just can’t help it folks. A-n-y-w-a-y… I drove to this other place, and I never been there before. I had to park out a ways and decided I would nonchalantly walk past their window, casually glancing in as I go, to see if they were busy,…or onward I go!
But there was a man standing outside the store, eyeing me coming, smoking a cigarette, and walking about. As I drew closer he leaned against the wall. As I casually passed the window and saw people galore, I immediately knew I’d pass one more! But the man asked how I was doing, as I tried to pass by. He seemed determined to get a reply. This man who had eyed me all this time.
I said, “I’m doing fine,” smiled and kept walking.
Now this man did not know me from beans in a can, but this total stranger seemed to insist, “Sam I am”. And with only a few feet between us, I past by, he spoke again! Not letting me slide!
“So life is treating you okay, you say?”
My back is turned and I’m on my way, why is this stranger still bidding me stay? Is he really concerned as to who I am, and what’s my jam? Or is this the beginning of an elaborate scam?
I stopped in my tracks, giving a stern glance back! Something hit me! Something came over me! This man who eyed me from the start! I shot back at him this question not kind! “DO I KNOW YOU?”, I sternly asked, and gave him the eye!
I was suddenly on the attack and this has never been my nature. He began his nervous reply.
“No…I’m just trying to spread some Christmas cheer. You know, a little ‘positivity’. Just being friendly.”
I love that word. “P-O-S-I-T-I-V-I-T-Y”. Immediately I knew this man was a snake in the grass, and I was going to nail him.
“Positivity, you say? Well how about spreading the ‘godly’?” I asked.
“What?” he said. “Oh, yeah, of course,” he nervously smiled.
I spoke again, as I turned back in his direction. “So you want to have a conversation? Are you a Christian?” I asked as straightforward as I knew how. I mean, there was no beating around. I didn’t even know who I had become at this point, and I leaned against the wall next to him. Close like a friend, even though we had different skin.
“Well, yes.” he said weakly, and took another puff on his cigarette, glancing away.
“So you’ve accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, and you serve him?” I came right back, strong with the same question, only more pointed.
His answer was weak again, but he said, “Yes.”
And then I said, “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.” As I looked him right in the eyes.
There was a pause.
He said, “You don’t?” A very nervous, I’m caught, kind of “you don’t?” And again, he kept glancing away, not wanting to look in the eyes, nervously flicking the cigarette.
“No, I don’t.” And I went on. “You want to have a conversation, you say. I didn’t come here looking to talk, but I guess you’re the reason I’m here. But that’s the problem, you see. You don’t really want to know me, or you might have to change.” And then I said, point blank again, “I don’t know what kind of ‘game’ you’re playing, but if I were you, I wouldn’t forget this, ‘conversation’.”
And then I turned and left.
He saw me walk up there. He didn’t know why I came. He didn’t know I checked out that barber shop as I appeared to walk on by towards other stores. So when I turned and left, as far as he knew, I did come there just for him. And I think I did.
From there I drove to another Great Clips and thought I’d give it one more try, but I expected I’d find the same overcrowded condition. Amazingly, I did not. A ten minute wait, and the lady did an excellent job. What a strange chain of events. A two hour delay at one place, led to a nice conversation with a total stranger, and then eventually getting a fine haircut in another place, with no delay. How strange.
I know a spirit of boldness came over me from the Lord. That’s what happened. Why it happened I cannot say, except God was speaking to that man at that time in a powerful way, to call him out on whatever the “game” he played. I hope he considers the strange Christmas Encounter. I hope his “positivity” leads him to a certain “Nativity” where he might really meet the Lord, and give up the games people like to play, for the reality of the true Christmas message.
A Christmas Encounter of a different kind.