Is there a flannel graph?

We need more flannel. I don’t know how else to say it. We need more of it. Some time back, I was getting my hair cut and the hair stylist (why aren’t there any barbers in South Dakota? Someone please tell me why?) told me how she liked my retro look.

Me: What do you mean?

She says very nicely: You’re flannel you’re rocking. That’s so retro now.

No, I’m starting to begin thinking, I’ve been wearing this flannel since the 90’s (not continuously but off and on, I mean, I’ve owned it since the 90’s if that makes more sense). I think my mouth moved faster than my brain because then I said out loud the exact thing I was thinking. Like pretty much all of it. And then she stopped and had that quizzical look on her face as if she had no clue what to say and then uttered “oh.”

She kept trying to get the awkward conversation going and asked me “Where’re you from.”

Me: “Well, I recently moved to Corsica from Chicago.”

Her: “Why’d you do something like that?”

And my answer blew her mind: “I’m a pastor there.”

And once again, that quizzical look came on to her face and she had no clue what to say and uttered “oh.”

Seeing that she had no clue what to say, I started bemoaning the lack of barbers in South Dakota. She asked me why I liked going to barbers.

“Well,” I said nicely trying to be all pastory and stuff, “I like how they cut my hair with the clippers and the comb and how they cut it just right and don’t try to rush through it.”

She smiled and no longer had that quizzical look on her face. “We want me to try it?” she asked.

What could I do? I just told her I was a pastor. My mind’s flying at a gagillion miles a minute (is that really a speed? I’m not sure but it was for my mind) how do I answer? Will my answer make her not want to like pastors since I’ve already thrown her off with the flannel and bemoaning? If I let her and she totally messes it up, I still have to tip her big time cause I said I was a pastor…and once again, my mouth moved before my brain could catch up. “Go for it.”

And she did. And she did a pretty darn tootin’ job at it too. It was pretty good. And as I’m inspecting my hair in the mirror and making sure that my ears are still there and I’m not bleeding she asks me “Do you like it?” Well, yes, yes I did. Which is what I told her.

“Thank goodness,” she sighed, “I’ve never done that before.” Meep.

And now I go there whenever I can. She loves it because no one else trusts her in doing what she’s done and she likes cutting hair that way. It gives her encouragement that someone trusts in what she can do. And yes, I still tip her good because she’s doing something that no one else is doing there.

But it’s also doing something else too, it’s allowing her to grow. Now I’m not sure into what, but it’s amazing what can happen when we wear flannel.

Okay, it’s more than just that. But still. You never know where people are at and where they need encouragement. You never know that what you might say could make someone beam with joy. You never know where people are at in their lives. Even one word can help someone feel empowered and encouraged. So don’t be weary like I was at first. But instead be willing to be that person who lets someone grow and be encouraged. Rock the flannel.

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