My Hair Cut

August 14, 2009

By the Rev. Norman G. Mowery
Pastor, Church of the Wayfarer


CARMEL, CALIFORNIA - This morning I sat down in a chair at a salon to get my hair cut. I had never met the woman who was about to cut my hair, even though I had been to this salon many times.


As she put the little white tissue around my neck and the big blue gown on me, I said, "It's a beautiful day, isn't it."


I was trying to show my friendly Norm side!


Her response was, "You bet it is a beautiful day, in more ways than one."


"So, what are the ways that it is beautiful for you?" I asked. I was curious to hear her response.


"Well, for one, I just received word that I am cancer free!" she said. And then she started talking.


The conversation reminded me of the home town barber shops in the farming community of Pennsylvania where I was raised.


"I have been battling cancer for a long time. I have been depressed. I didn't want to get out of bed. I couldn't work. I tried medication but didn't like it. The depression came on after the treatments. That surprised me. I have gone through a difficult time but now I am cancer free. Yes, it is a beautiful day!" she exclaimed.


I sat there wondering if she knew that I was a pastor, but I was positive that she did not.


"What did you do to get through the depression?" I asked.


"My mother had cervical cancer some years ago," she replied. "She had a hard time, so she went down to the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel to pray. Their church doors are often open during the day. My mother told me to do the same, so I went into that little church several times and prayed. It helped a lot," she said as my mouth dropped open.


I couldn't believe it, but I thought I would have a little fun - so I asked, "Where is the Church of the Wayfarer?"


"It's down on Lincoln Street," she said. "The space feels holy to me."


After she was finished cutting my hair I paid for the haircut and gave her a nice tip. It was then that I said with pride, "I am the pastor of the Church of the Wayfarer," and I gave her my business card.


As I left we both had tears in our eyes. I'm glad that no one else was there.


I'm also glad that our doors are open.


A few minutes ago, Michael Merritt saw me walking up the street. "Hey, Norm," he said, "where do you get your hair cut? It looks great."


I said, "It is a great hair cut in more ways than one!"


When I get this article finished I going to the Sanctuary to pray.


The space feels holy to me, too!