Last week I got my hair cut at a barbershop in the Bishop Arts District. It was a super hip place full of mustachioed barbers with their motorcycles parked out front. I knew that they would do a great job. They lined out the edges of my hair with a straight razor. This place was legit.
Emma found this place for me, and I was really excited, but this was the first time I had ever been there. There are always places in which I know there exists the potential for conversations to get awkward, and it always starts with the same question.
So, what do you do for a living?
This seemingly innocuous question can sometimes lead to an awkward moment. Here I was in a barbershop with lots of tattooed bikers and Oak Cliff hipsters. Everyone was swearing, some were smoking and there was complementary beer on tap in the corner. I would hazard a guess that they don’t have many pastors frequenting their establishment.
So there I was sitting in the chair getting my hair cut when about 20 minutes into my visit the inevitable question was asked:
“So, what do you do for a living?”
“I work at a church” I said in reply.
“Oh, that’s cool, what do you do there?”
“I’m a pastor.”
“Oh ****, now I’m really regretting that dirty joke I just told.”
The barbershop erupted in laughter, and I laughed right along with them. Yes, the joke was inappropriate, but it was also very funny. The conversation shifted a little after he found out what I did for a living, but we still had a great conversation, and I will definitely be returning as he gave me an incredible haircut!
This whole interaction made me wonder how Christians (and pastors) are viewed by society, and it also reminded me of how at home Jesus would have felt in that barbershop. Jesus hung out with regular people. He didn’t stay in the richer parts of town and he never avoided anyone that might make others uncomfortable.
I loved my time in that barbershop and it was really refreshing to be out of a religious environment for a change. I spend so much time in the church and around Christians, it’s really nice sometimes to get out in the world and just be around all kinds of people.
Barbers, bikers and beer drinkers make for entertaining company on a Thursday afternoon, and the experience reminded me that as Christians we are called to be ambassadors of Christ in all places, to all people, and not just in the places that are comfortable for us.
I saw Christ in those barbers and barbershop patrons, and I hope that you too will look for Christ in unexpected places. After all, Christ was much more likely to be on the streets with the people than in the church with those who already knew his name.
Have a wonderful week my friends,