A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.
As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects. When they eventually touched on the subject of God the barber said, “I don’t believe that God exists.”
“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.
“Well, you just have to go out into the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be so many abandoned children? If God existed, there would neither be suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.”
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument.
The barber finished the job and the customer left the shop. Just after the man left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked very dirty and unkempt.
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and said to the barber, ”You know what? Barbers do not exist.”
“How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!”
“No!” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty, long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside.”
“Ah, but barbers do exist. That is what happens when people do not come to me!”
“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. “That is the point! God too, DOES exist! That is what happens when people do not go to Him and don’t look to Him for help. That’s why there is so much suffering in the world.”
What a great example. It made a whole lot of sense to me. I know I would have been a mess if I hadn’t taken the opportunity to come to the Lord. I have often thought about where I might be today if I hadn’t responded to Christ’s invitation when I did. I think I would be a bum in the gutter somewhere, if not physically I would be emotionally and spiritually.
Personally speaking, I know it was God who helped me find a wonderful Christian wife. I’d be so much worse off without Debbie. God helped me get through college and seminary. God guided me to become a pastor (sometimes God had to pull me kicking and screaming).
I am pretty sure part of the reason God called me to be a pastor was to force me to stay on the straight and narrow and to go to church every Sunday.
When our kids were born it was so nice to know God was walking with me as I carried our kids to the nursery. And every day since then God helped us to do our best to raise our kids. I’m especially grateful the way God has helped us deal with our son’s disability.
How much richer we are when we respond to Christ’s invitation to come to Him.
Prayer: Our Lord, never let us forget what a difference faith in God makes. Help us to put it into practice everywhere. Amen
The Rev. Dan Safarik retired as a full-time pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lincoln and now serves part time at St. Mark’s UMC in Lincoln. Email him at email@example.com
The Rev. Dan Safarik serves St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lincoln. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org