So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
I was blindsided. It was time for a haircut. Now that is a relative statement—you know like relatively speaking. I had five brothers and only two of us are left. All the brothers had hair—lots of hair. No receding hairlines, no clogged drains in the shower, no nothing but lots of hair. And then there is me. While my daddy had a receding hairline he never lost his hair. Well, that was them and that was him but it sure isn’t me. It started with a receding hairline, then it became a thinning receding hairline and then it became a full blown retreat. I now have a really, long forehead. I don’t know if it is still in full retreat or if we are holding our own. The jury is still out. So, I’m trying to say that a haircut for me is a relative statement. I am grateful that getting a haircut still doesn’t mean getting a solitary hair cut, but I do remember the days when there were more than a few.
Now, I keep my hair short for two reasons. First, I have grayish white hair and I found it doesn’t look quite as white if I keep it shorter. Second, and I can only guess, it is a carryover from my days with my Daddy and in the military. For the first 18 years of my life my Daddy made sure I kept my hair short (even though it was the late sixties and early seventies). After him, it was twelve years in the Air Force, and they made sure it was short. Well, after 30 years of short hair I figured, why change now? So, the bottom line is about once a month I go see my hair cutter person. Even after a month, my hair is sparse and less than an inch long.
So, I was in the chair and she was clipping and buzzing along. She has cut my hair for the last 15 or so years so she knows the landscape pretty well. Well, she said, “Dewayne did you hit your head or something?” I assured her I hadn’t, but she was sure something had happened. Well, my wife Judy had gotten me a pair of virtual reality goggles for Christmas. I had used them the night before and the straps fitted pretty tightly around my head, so I assured her that was what she was seeing. Then she said, “Well, let me show you.”
Before I knew it, there was a mirror in my hand, and she turned me around so I was looking in the mirror. I could see something I had never seen—the back of my head. Oh.My.Goodness. You see, I naturally assumed that my…oh, how I hate to use the word…baldness stopped on top of my head. I also assumed that I had the mane of Samson in the back. I was wrong. There in the mirror I got to see what everyone else saw all the time. While it wasn’t totally hairless let’s just saw it was pretty thin. You might say it was wavy—you know, the hairs there had plenty of space to wave at one another.
Well, I gasped and bless her heart, she did her best to assure me it wasn’t that bad—the average person looking wouldn’t even notice. She said you would have to look real close to see it. She was so nice, but I had the strangest feeling she was not telling the whole truth. And in that moment I realized that my days of teasing people with a halo at the back of their head were probably over. I had reached a new level of membership in the hair club—or perhaps more appropriately, the “no hair club.” What struck me as funny was I had no idea. I really was blindsided. I couldn’t see what any other person walking behind me could see. To make matters worse, let’s just say that I’m not the tallest guy in the neighborhood. That means everyone taller than me, which is probably 90% of the adult population, had a great view of my impending hair doom.
Well, that started the wheels turning in my mind. I wondered just how many other things are there about me that I am totally blind to? How many times did my impatience at the grocery store show? How many times did my glaring eyes betray my true feeling when some nice “little, old lady” pulled out in traffic in front of me? How many times was my sarcasm not as veiled as I thought? Oh my!
So, I think I might have learned something valuable at the hair cutting place that day. It wasn’t that I should get a hand mirror so I can see the back of my head. No, it was the fact that I should, we should, be aware that people are always deserving of our courtesy, our kindness, our compassion. If we are Jesus people, especially if we are Jesus people, we should make a conscious decision to be authentically nice. The golden rule, which is found in the Bible, says “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Truth is it is not always easy to be kind, but it is always right. And when it seems especially hard, don’t panic. God is good at being kind so you can rest assured that He will help you. After all, “He’s got this.”