Up until about 3 months ago, I could count on one hand the number of times I’d gotten a manicure. I always thought that manicures were for prissy girls with too much time and money on their hands, so I only had my nails done when I was in a wedding and was required to do so.
That all changed just before I got engaged. I knew that a lot of people would be looking at my hand once there was a ring on it, and I began to notice just how jacked up my nails appeared. I am really bad about biting them, so I’ve always had rather manly looking, construction worker hands. That was not the kind of thing that I wanted people staring at.
So ever since then I’ve been getting manicures on a fairly regular basis. And in doing so, God has opened my eyes to some interesting missional opportunities for Christian women.
I came to this realization today as I sat across from a young Vietnamese woman while I had my nails painted. I was listening to my iPod with the headphones in my ears, which served as a kind of barrier between the two of us. Occasionally she would ask me a question or make a comment, but I couldn’t really hear her because of my iPod, so eventually she gave up. We sat across from one another in silence.
This may have been the full extent of the story had the Holy Spirit not entered the seen. As I sat their absorbed in my podcast I began to feel a tugging on my heart, and I considered the situation before me–here I was, a Christian, sitting across from a woman who may not know Christ. I have her as a captive audience for at least 30 minutes, but instead I’m just sitting there listening to a podcast. That’s when the conviction hit.
As soon as I had the opportunity I shut down my iPod and began engaging the woman in conversation. She told me about her family and her life here in America. Then she asked about me, and I told her I was a Christian, and that I was also a minister. We spent the whole rest of the time getting to know one another.
When I left the salon I had not shared the Gospel with her, but I do not consider my time a failure. Why? Because I plan to go back. I just discovered a new mission field.
It’s hard to present the Gospel in a natural, genuine way when you talk to someone for the first time, which is why we need to be intentional about the people with whom we come into contact. It’s much easier to share your faith with someone in whom you’ve invested time and conversation, and I just laid the first brick of that relational foundation this afternoon. I’m now in a position to build on it.
That said, it’s important that we women recognize the missional opportunities before us and take advantage of them. If you like to get manicures, pick ONE manicure salon, pick one girl to do your nails each time, and then go there regularly. Forge a relationship with her until you get a chance to share the Gospel. Keep going back again and again so that you can invite her to church. Find out if her family has any needs that your church can provide her with. Listen to her if she’s having a bad day. Be her friend.
And if you don’t like getting manicures, there are plenty of other options. Pick one place to get your hair done and work on sharing the Gospel with your hair stylist. If there’s one store at which you like to shop, or one restaurant that you really love, drop in often and get to know the people who work there. I personally like taking my students to a pet store where they let you play with the puppies while you talk and hang out, so I’m trying to get to know one of the girls who works there.
Take a look at your schedule and figure out how you can be more intentional about it. Living missionally does not necessarily mean going overseas–it means living on mission. So find ways to set yourself up for these opportunities. Being a girly girl doesn’t have to mean you’re self-focused–it does mean that God has a special mission designed just for you!