I got a haircut recently at a salon run by this middle-aged Korean lady named Wendy. I’ve gotten my hair cut by her before, but about eight or nine years ago. Nariko told me the last time she went, Wendy had asked her if she knew Jesus.
So, I was prepared when she smiled at me, saying in a heavy Korean accent, “M, I didn’t know your family Christian.” Snip, snip, snip. “Your grandma believe yet?” I had forgotten that my grandma had gotten her hair done there a couple of days ago.
“No,” I replied.
“We must pray for her,” she said firmly. Some more snips. Then she grabbed my shoulder and turned me to her. “We live at end of season.” I think she meant end times. “Sin if we don’t pray. Sin if we don’t tell our unbelieving friends.” I nodded profusely, hoping she wouldn’t cut my hair as I nodded.
Satisfied, she proceeded to tell me about her grandfather who was a pastor in Korea. During the Korean War, he came out to ring the church bells. A group of soldiers stood outside, and when they saw his uniform, they shot him.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
She nodded, pulling out a razor and pressing it to the back of my head. “Things different back then,” she said, not sadly. “My grandfather is in heaven.”
I wonder if she prays for my grandma. When I went home later, my aunt, mom and grandma had a good laugh, thinking about Wendy and her earnestness. Even my dad was a little displeased, he hates when people are pushy about their faith. It made me sad, but thinking of her reminds me to be proactive about praying and sharing.
This is my Christmas story, because I spent the last three days, including Christmas day in Vegas. I never want to see another buffet again.