Haircuts for the homeless

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.

-Gandalf (J.R.R. Tolkien) from “The Hobbit”

heart-in-hands1-300x212Brennon Jones is a 29 year old, ordinary folk, doing his part to show love to those who rarely experience it. He is a former barber who spends a lot of his free time driving around neighborhoods known for high number of homeless people. He goes with personal mobile salon, his arsenal of love, that consists of merely a tray and hair cutting clippers.

It’s not complicated. Jones strikes up a conversation, gets to know them a bit, then offers them a free haircut. Jones is not wealthy. He can’t give everyone he sees a home, clothes, or money. But he has a talent. He has a heart of compassion. That combination is all we need to make a difference in anyone’s life.

The Lord is rewarding Mr. Jones for his service to others. Sean Johnson, a barber and business owner in Philadelphia, has given Jones his very own barber shop. That’s right; just gave it to him! Wow! For the full article check out Today.com.

How are you gifted? Do be falsely modest and say that you have no gifting. God has made each and everyone of us unique, with passions, and talents.

What resources do you have? Hey, I’m a high school teacher, so I understand being limited financially. But that’s not the point. No matter how little or how great our resources, we all have something we can share with those in need.

What time do can you spare? If we think about all the time spent on our phones, watching TV or movies, or playing around with our hobbies, we can all spare some time to be with those who have no one.

Look around your community, your school, your place of work, your church…anywhere…everywhere. People are going down all around us. People are people. No one deserves to be ignored or overlooked.

For who makes you different? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it…

1 Corinthians 4:7a (ESV)

We are all one step away from being in a desperate situation. We’ve all needed the help of others. No one has made it to where they are on their own. Behind it all is a good and gracious God who intends us to be good and gracious to others.

Generosity that costs nothing, can be absolutely priceless.

Check out this video and try not to cry.

Bearing the Weight

I’ve spent a good portion of my life  exercising. Some of that has involved lifting weights. One thing that every weight lifter knows is that you can’t lift heavy weights with open hands. A person has to close their grip around the bar or dumbbell for optimal strength. 

Sometimes I think we treat life like lifting weights. So many things add heaviness to our hearts. Think about those heavy loads in your own life. They could be bills, a career, worries over your kids, the health of a loved one, or even the plight of sexual slavery all over the  world? Chances are it’s not just one thing. Life can get really, really heavy!

Unfortunately we wait to the point where we simply can’t bear it any more. We wait until our knees buckle beneath us. If the weight of life is so heavy that it is bringing you to your knees, there’s actually no better place to be.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.

-Abraham Lincoln

Part of going through life is to keep our hands open. What does that even look like? Holding loosely to possessions, careers, or our money? Maybe coming to terms with the fact that there is only one sovereign in the world and we aren’t Him? How about loving those close to us the best we can every single day because we just don’t know how many more we’ll get? It could be as simple as remembering that every meal we’ve ever had, and every warm roof we’ve lived under didn’t come from us but from a God who takes joy in taking care of us. It might be confiding in a friend and asking someone to pray with us. 

Holding on to things so tightly comes from a disposition of control. We keep our worries and struggles buried deep inside, because we feel as though we can carry them on our own. But no weight is meant to be carried alone.

In life, just as with weight lifting, we get to choose which weights we pick up. Even the smartest lifters have a spotter, because they know that at one point the weight may become too heavy to carry. Hopefully we have spotters in our friends and family, but if we don’t, we have a constant spotter, one who can actually do the heavy lifting for us. 

Maybe it’s time to begin more days on our knees rather than waiting until we utterly collapse. A humble life is one with open hands and bended knees. The God we serve once carried the greatest weight of all, our sins, and He did so that we wouldn’t have to any longer. 

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

He can handle the weight of our lives. More than that, He wants to! There is no weight limit or maxing out for God. He can take it all. 

“Pile your troubles on GOD ’s shoulders— he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭55:22 ‭(MSG‬)