A man went into a barber shop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. He and the barber had a good conversation on a wide variety of subjects. After a while, they got on the subject of God. But as soon as that topic came up, the barber said abruptly and firmly, “I don’t believe God exists.”
“Why do you say that?” asked the customer.
“Well, it’s easy,” said the barber, “all you have to do is walk out that door and onto these city streets, and any logical person will come to the conclusion that God does not exist. Think about the hospital on the other end of this block and all the pain and disease and suffering that goes on there. Listen to the sirens all day every day. The police are always on the way to some terrible crime or hideous accident. Right here I’ve been robbed twice in the six years that I have had this shop. And look at the beggars out in the street. Why doesn’t God provide for them? Then there is our city politics– nothing but greed and corruption there. And go to that newsstand and buy a newspaper, and what do you think you will read about? You will read about still more trouble and pain and heartache all over the world; wars and earthquakes and famines all the time. There is trouble everywhere. I just can’t believe that if there was a God he would allow all this. If God existed, there would be no suffering or pain.”
The customer listened carefully to all that the barber was saying, but did not respond because he did not want to get into an argument. The barber finished the haircut and the customer paid his bill and left. As he was walking out the door he bumped into a man in the street with long hair, all dirty and matted, along with a straggly beard with small and large bits of food embedded in it. You could tell it had been a very long time since a scissors touched his hair.
The customer went back into the barbershop. His barber was still standing by the door, and had seen his collision with the long haired man. The customer said to the barber, “You know what? I do not believe that barbers exist.”‘
“What?” asked the surprised barber, “What do you mean? You were just in here for a haircut.”
The customer said, “Well you can see that man outside. That man proves that barbers do not exist, because if there were barbers, there would not be any men with long dirty hair and a straggly beard like that, would there?”
“How can you think that?” asked the barber. “You know that barbers exist. But the problem is that many men, like that man, do not come to us.”
“That’s exactly right,” said the customer, “and in the same way many people do not come to God or look to God at all; and that is the reason for much of the suffering and pain in the world– not all, but much of it. And that trouble does not prove that there is no God any more than that unkempt man out in the street proves that barbers do not exist.” (continued…)
This looks like a man who needs a haircut. Actually, it is actress Cate Blanchett in make-up for her new (weird) movie Manifesto. (This has nothing to do with proving the existence of barbers, but it does prove there are some really skilled make-up artists in Hollywood.)
Luke 13:34 — (Jesus said), “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
Malachi 2:17 — You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
Isaiah 29:16 — You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay. Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?
Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent that my love may go out to my neighbor. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you at all. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed all the treasures I have. I am poor, you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner, you are upright. With me there is an abundance of sin, in you is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore, I will remain with you from whom I can receive, but to whom I can not give. Amen.