The harvest is plentiful and my hair is really short…

by DanWolgemuth on October 16, 2015

Tony has been cutting my hair for several years. While his location is inconvenient, he’s one of a kind. His shop is located on the back of a cigar store in downtown Denver. I first met Tony when I was given a gift of an old-school shave a few years ago. He won my business by declaring that whoever cut it the last time really didn’t know what they were doing. I was sold. Nobody else has cut it since.

Tony is a little younger than I am; an Italian from Long Island, NY.

He knows that I work for Youth for Christ, and he knows about the message of hope through Jesus that our movement is passionate about sharing with kids. The collateral impact of this knowledge is that Tony feels completely comfortable sharing his own life journey with me on every visit, and particularly his personal struggles.

In fact, over the past several years I’ve come to believe that there is a direct correlation between the depth of Tony’s personal sharing and the length of my hair at the time that my haircut concludes. The more issues that Tony unpacks the longer and more passionate he is in clipping.

This week the problems were significant, and my hair is especially short. Tony primarily shared his relational struggles with me… his pursuit for love and trust and companionship have led him down some dark alleys. With amazing transparency he shares each twist and turn with me… and on Tuesday, it was a broken, alone, and vulnerable story of exploited trust that he shared with me.

Tony’s shop isn’t convenient, but his relationship has become important to me. At the conclusion of each visit he outlines the unique challenge of cutting my hair; thinning hair in the back, a growing circle of abandonment on the top. “Not just anybody would know how to cut your hair. They could really mess this up.” I’m convinced that a good portion of his assertion is to ensure that our connection continues. It will.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

Sheep without a shepherd. Harassed and helpless.

I’ve come to realize that Jesus has dispatched me to this harvest… to listen, to care, to offer hope… even as I sit motionless.

My hair is shorter than it’s been for a long time, even as my heart breaks more intensely for this man that I have come to love and appreciate.

Wherever He calls us. Whoever is there.

Only Jesus. Always Jesus. One haircut at a time.

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