Chuck Terrill: No one likes a shaggy preacher
No one likes a shaggy preacher.
At least, that’s what Mary told me. I told my wife how difficult it is to find a new barber after fifteen years. As a new resident, I didn’t have any idea where I should get my hair cut.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen if I just let it grow long?” I asked her.
“I could start looking for a new church with a pastor with short hair,” she said. I knew, with a certainty, that I needed to get my hair cut, and fast.
The very next day, I pulled into the parking lot of the first barber shop I passed on my way home from the office.
The chair was empty, so I shook the barber’s hand and introduced myself. As I settled in, I told him this would be the first haircut in my new city. He asked me what had brought me town. I told him that I had been called by God to minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He asked me how I wanted my hair cut.
I said, “I don’t know. I just come in, sit down, and the barber cuts my hair. I don’t know how I want it cut. The barber cuts it, I pay him, and that’s that. I’ve never been disappointed.”
“I hope I don’t disappoint you,” he answered.
“Don’t worry, you won’t.” I responded. “Just do your best to make me look like a television evangelist,” I added. We both laughed, and he began to work on my hair.
We talked about a lot of things. He hunted turkey, each year, just a few miles from where I used to preach in Kansas. He loves Corinth Southern Baptist Church. It was nice to hear his positive report about his pastor and his many friends there. He asked me about First Christian, I told him, and he promised to pray that God would bless our little congregation. We both agreed that having a relationship with Jesus is a whole lot better than having a religion of any kind.
The time went by too quickly. The haircut was finished, and my barber whirled me around in the chair for the reveal. As I looked at myself in the mirror I laughed out loud! I looked like a T.V. Evangelist! He asked me, “Do you like it?”
“I love it!” I told him as I rose and reached for my wallet. “J.T., you are a good man and a good barber,” I said. “I’ll be back to see you in about five weeks!”
“I’d like that,” he answered as I headed for the door.
When I got in my truck, I looked at myself again in the rearview mirror. “I can comb it a little different,” I thought to myself. “Maybe the swooped back over the head look isn’t my style.” I had to smile, though. I did like it.
Haircuts are powerful. By the time I reached home I had developed a monumental urge to purchase a couple of T.V. Channels. And maybe, I thought to myself, a private jet.
A good haircut can sure go to your head. But a haircut is more than a haircut. It is a growing relationship built on trust. J.T. and I both know a little bit about that.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.