I have had many students who have been women from Vietnam that work in nail salons. They like to joke with me about coming in to see them and getting my nails done. I actually learned some of the words used in nail salons because a friend opened a new one and asked me to come help the women working there with conversational English.
Of course I have never had my finger nails painted in a nail salon. It is a fun joke with my students who enjoy teasing their teacher. It is obvious if you look at the picture I took today of my hand.
But there was one time in 2006 that I had my nails done and in various colors too. The person who did my nails was a 5 year old girl who had her own special equipment.
She was sitting outside her home with her color markers. The reason I stopped by was because it was the week her father had died and I was helping the family with various things. I sat down to chat with her. With small children sitting and just talking doesn’t work so well and I knew she needed to share how she was feeling. For small children it is easier to talk if they are doing something. She asked me to color her nails and I did. While I was coloring her nails, she was able to talk with me about her dad. When I finished with hers, she then said, “I want to paint your nails too.” The conversation went like this:
Girl- “I want to paint your nails too.”
Me- “Thank you, but I don’t have my nails painted.”
Me- “Because I am a boy.”
Girl- “That’s silly. Please let me paint you nails.”
She won especially due to the hurt I could see in her eyes over her father’s death. So she colored my nails and we talked some more. We talked about Jesus and heaven. We talked about her dad. It was a moment I will never forget. I am sure she has forgotten it. She was barely 5 years old at the time.
I was grateful the coloring could wash off easily when I got home. 🙂
Whenever I remember that moment, I think about what is prophesied about Jesus in Isaiah 42 and Matthew 12:
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory”
Jesus has all power yet he is gentle with a bruised reed. We are all bruised reeds at one time or another. In gentleness Jesus comes to us with a desire to bring healing, comfort and restoration.
I remember the ‘bruised reed’ little 5 year old girl. As we were talking and she was ‘painting my nails’, I felt some of what Jesus felt for her-the love, gentleness and concern.
If we are feeling like a bruised reed in need of comfort or healing, or we are feeling like a smoldering wick about to go out because we have let ourselves become spiritually dry or run down, Jesus invites us to come to him. He is here with us right now waiting for us to come to him.