An interaction yesterday went horribly. I had needed help. The help was given with impatience and abrupt instructions that had the effect of freezing my brain into deeper incompetence. By the end I felt like a nuisance; too slow; and devalued.
It affected me for more than a few hours afterwards. I needed time to process it and eventually managed to separate myself from it personally, enough to know that it wasn't so much about me as the other person and I am pretty sure that they were oblivious to their effect.
This morning as I sat down with a cup of coffee in our sunny back room, and tried to shake off the last vestiges of the depressed mood that had descended afterwards, and the words, "He restores my soul," from Psalm 23, came to mind, like a soothing ointment on a wound.
Just then Brenda poked her head into the room, a large red mug of coffee in her hand. She glanced at the book I was opening and said, "Oh, is this not a good time?"
"Yes, it is," I said, "Come in." And I told her all about it. God had sent the "Soul Restorer" in the person of my dear daughter.
I thought of the times when I too have been abrupt and impatient with people because I was too focused on something other than the person in front of me--the vulnerable human being with sensitive feelings that can be hurt, as mine had been. God just gave me an opportunity to experience sitting "in the other chair."
What a blessing that soon after coffee with Brenda, I had an appointment with Jamie, my hairdresser. I knew that sitting in her chair for a couple of hours would complete the soul restoration, as well as making me feel beautiful. She never fails to have that effect.
On the way, I stopped at the post office and found a brown envelope addressed to me, from Alberta. Inside was a card from a friend. We had been working on something and there had been a few tries before getting it right. She wrote, "At an earlier stage in my life I'd have been mortified to have the goof-ups we had. Thank God, truly, that I'm more humble and less of a perfectionist than I used to be. I can laugh about it in a way, and you were always patient." I was "always patient?" How I needed to hear that this morning!
As usual Jamie and I talked non stop throughout the hair appointment. My hair was almost done as she was telling me about her love of teaching and public speaking; a part of her work that she would like to expand into even more. She mentioned that she had asked for advice from Charles Marcus, an inspirational speaker that Goldwell often uses for their staff events.
When she mentioned his name, I remembered her talking about him before--in fact I wrote a blog post about it last year: All The Time in the World. I was reminded about the story Marcus tells about an experience as a young apprentice in the salon of the legendary hairstylist Vidal Sassoon. Marcus, who had a severe stuttering disability was asked his name by Sassoon. The direct question paralysed Marcus into speechlessness, but Sassoon had taken him by the hand and gently said, "Take your time; I've got all the time in the world."
I was thankful to be reminded of that story, such a contrast to yesterday's experience, and such a great reminder of an example that I aspire to emulate more consistently.
I left Jamie's chair with soul restoration complete.