A Little Off of the Top!
by: Alex Waits
Who do we, as Christians, spend time with and minister to daily? Do we surround ourselves with fellow believers and like-minded Christians yet pass by those who might need Christ the most because we fear….man? Do you feel like you have limited gifts to offer the Lord for his use? I’ve been blessed this week by a great couple from Florida. I’ve spent a great deal of time with husband (I’ll name him the Barber). I’ve really enjoyed the twosome; helping them with translation and showing them around the area and orphanages. The Barber is truly one of a kind. He has a large heart and a friendly face that opens line of communication with many he encounters He also has a talent of cutting hair, and he has cut enough hair in the last few days to put Super Cuts to shame.
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to see God’s compassion work through the love extended to a group of men just about forgotten by society here. The Barber and I packed up his equipment and headed to the prison here in town. I’m sure at some time you’ve all at least seen a movie with a third-world prison scene in the movie. Well in reality, those movies are pretty accurate with one exception. The prisoners here just don’t seem as mad at the world and outside people as the movies depict. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a horrible place, but there are glimpses of light and the Lord in even such a forgotten place.
The Barber ended up cutting about 15 inmates’ hair. I know why many of them are incarcerated, but the Barber never asked the “typical” questions about past offenses or transgressions. He just kept cutting, smiling and showing a Christ-like love through his compassion and detail to each inmate like they were each high-paying customers. He never appeared nervous, or frightened in the least.
What I saw was heart-warming and insightful. The Barber went beyond just buzzing their heads. He asked exactly what type of cut each ‘customer’ wanted. He took the time to make sure the men liked what he did. Additionally, he cleaned the hair off all of them and dossed them with talcum powder. I saw the tenseness of the men disappear during this interaction, particularly when he applied the talcum powder. It was as if each man slowly felt worthy of the attention and reluctantly accepted it by the end of the haircut. Many of the inmates that were the first ones to receive a haircut hung around until it was all over. It was as if they wanted to see their friends experience the same benefit as they received. I found myself wanting to jump into the chair for a new cut!
Oh yeah, we attended to these men in their sanctuary where they hold church service. In hindsight, I could not think of a better place to love and fellowship with these men. So, the next time your pastor mentions an outreach opportunity and you think, “But I don’t have any talents to reach people”. Think about “the Barber” a retired gentlemen from Florida who cut hair and cut down barriers to some pretty tough guys. He may not have lead anyone to Christ right then and there, but he might have laid the ground work for the next person that brings the gospel.