On the first Saturday of my Christmas break I got to see two of my favorite people. I had made my 6-week hair appointment a couple of weeks ago since my hairdresser only works every other weekend. It was good to get my shaggy hair cut and my gray roots covered. My hairdresser, Lorig, is just so much fun and always makes me feel and look good when I see her.
Just as I arrived at the salon I got a text from a friend of 40 years, a friend who is an international star in human trafficking ministry. Laurie has been featured on 60 Minutes and written up in Time magazine. She worked for 15 years in Thailand, bringing girls out of slavery and giving them skills so they can support themselves. She was then asked to become a consultant to the world on how to do this work. Laurie travels all over to tell about the work that is being done and how to do it even better. For a few days she is in Fresno, spending Christmas with her family who lives here.
Laurie’s parents were friends of ours. We served at the same church for many years. We have many friends in common. My daughter attended the same seminary that Laurie attended a few years earlier. With Facebook, I can keep up with Laurie’s life wherever her ministry takes her. I knew she was coming to Fresno, but she is always so busy, I didn’t expect to see her. She took the time and met me for lunch.
Laurie suggested a restaurant that I didn’t even know existed, just across the street from my hairdresser. Even though she travels the world, she knows more about my city than I do! Then, as we ordered our lunch, she recognized the tattoo on the waiter. It was Thai, a language she speaks fluently. She asked him if he was a Thai kick boxer. Yes, he was, and he delighted in telling us about his experience. That is the kind of person Laurie is, she makes connections wherever she goes. She is caring and compassionate. She listens.
She wanted to know about my chaplain’s work as she sees my Facebook posts. I told her that I put on the uniform and show up. God does the work. She was delighted as that is the message she preaches on a regular basis. Just showing up is important when working with vulnerable populations.
We sat and talked for three hours. Best Christmas present I could get.
Here we are as we headed our separate ways.