my colombian heart (part 5)… hair.
One of the services we gave to the women of the community surrounding the church was a salon day, which included massages with cool towels, hair cuts/style, and manicures. It was such a tangible way to communicate value and love to the women we encountered. I loved every second of the time we had there.
It was a little bit of a challenge, however, because of the language barrier. It’s hard enough to communicate to your stylist what you want done to your hair when you both speak the same language. Imagine trying to communicate your desires and preferences without speaking in the same tongue! It was crazy. There were a few miscommunications which resulted in shorter hair than the women preferred, or not enough hair cut off, but after a bit all of the gringos figured out the word for short and long, and curly or straight.
By the end of the day we had so many amazing stories to dwell on. The women were so blessed by the effort we made. I had no previous experience cutting hair, so I was a little nervous, but even in my inexperience, God used my fingers and smiles to speak love.
One of the most memorable experiences I walked away with was the special time I spent with a lady named Johana. (pronounced “yo-ana”) She was painting nails with me, and was immediately so welcoming and friendly.. despite the fact we couldn’t speak to each other in the same language. She and I worked together when I wasn’t cutting hair, and we giggled over the silliest things. It was so fun!
Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to see Johana and spend time with her. By the end of the week, she could say “Taylor!” and I could say “Johana!”; and we would both know that in those simple words flowed the wellspring of our hearts for each other. When I said “Johana!”, I was actually saying “I bless you, I love you, you’re valuable, God is working through you, you are so fun to be with, you are beautiful, I appreciate you..” While I never actually got to say those words in Spanish, she knew. She knew that God had brought us together and that we are friends. She could smile at me, and my heart would glow.. simply because I knew she was saying the same things to me.
Yes, the salon was a lot of work. It was hot and sweaty in there… We didn’t really know what we were doing, and we were a little nervous. But, in the end, it was so evident that God always works despite our inadequacies. It was a special day and I will forever have memories of the people we interacted with there.