Written By: Dan Stanley | Posted: Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Some of our readers remember the days there were men's barbershops and ladies' beauty salons. Time and cultural changes have gradually diminished those days and places, but some still exist. One such place is in Kernersville, North Carolina. Not only does it exist, but haircuts are seven dollars. I have heard they are even cheaper in a small Wisconsin town, but seven dollars is still a deal.
Rober, the owner and only barber, has been there and at it a long time. Of course, he is nearing eighty years of age, so that makes sense. He began cutting hair many decades ago and has no plans to "cut it off" (there is my pun for the day - I'm done) any time soon. He and his barbershop have everything one would expect and want in a small town, men's only, down to earth, homey type place. The walls are filled with memorabilia as well as a small frig in the corner. The shop is orderly, but old and well worn. One feels quite at ease that he is not going to hurt the furniture and is in the company of the boys. The conversation runs the normal course that is expected, less the obscene and dirty talk that all too often is associated with such a setting. The atmosphere causes you to take a break in the midst of this busy world, and to simply enjoy people.
Rober himself is the quintessential small town barber to say the least. But he is more than that. He is the barbershop. His ability to tell stories would rival the best. His memory equals that of anyone with a doctor's degree. He knows names and details and can recall them in a moment's notice. He is the perfect setting for a Mayberry's series. Norman Rockwell would have produced some classics if he had passed that way. He might even be called a "character" as well as be nominated for the local museum.
What is most striking, though, is the Bible in the middle of the magazines and newspapers on the wall rack. It is almost unnoticeable, but it is there. Not just this week, but each time you go. It is well used and permanent in all regards. Now, Kernersville, North Carolina is in the South as we would say. And in the South, we expect more openness religiously speaking. It was called the Bible belt for a reason. So the Bible being there seems all right in such a place.
It does not stop there, though. Rather, it was how the Bible is used. For you see, Rober, while cutting hair, will not shy away from what he believes. In the most amicable manner, he confesses Jesus Christ as His Savior and the Bible as God's Word. One time, while not missing a clip of the scissors, he was directing a waiting client to take the Bible from the rack and look up such and such a verse. "Now read it," he orders. It was read without any back talk! He went on to expound several verses that teach if a person is saved by faith in Christ, they can't lose their salvation. He is a Methodist, but that doesn't matter. Eternal life is eternal life.
How refreshing, then, was it to hear a man in his daily occupation not falling into the trap of keeping his faith in Christ in the closet. Speaking for Christ in a timely and mannerly way was paramount to him. I doubt it crossed his mind whether it was good or bad for business. Rather, it was his business to so speak!
Well, I doubt most of our readers will ever get to Kernersville, North Carolina to meet Rober. But do remember his great example of openly confessing the Lord Jesus Christ. Realize our disposition to keep it confined to Sundays or private walls is modern, but not what once was the norm. Not only was it the norm, but it is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, "if we confess him before men he will confess us before his heavenly father." Rober understands this and does it as a way of life. Cutting hair is merely his vehicle to accomplish it, whether he knows it or not.
Dan Stanley is an owner and contributing editor of the Eau Claire Journal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.