540…. that is the approximate number of haircuts that I have had in my life. Honestly, I don’t remember many of them. I remember going to “Bob’s Barber Shop” as a kid. It was an “old time” barber shop with the barber shop pole displayed proudly in front of the shop. I still remember the smell of the aftershave and the crowd of men sharing gossip while they got their hair cut. (Yes, men gossip too!) I’ve been to Great Clips and Sports Clips several times throughout the years. But I don’t remember many of my actual haircuts. It’s just something you do to keep groomed and to look presentable. Haircuts haven’t stood out to me.
Until the pandemic struck. Along with other beauty salons and barber shops throughout our community, my stylist could no longer accept clients. Haircuts were no longer available. I needed a haircut when the pandemic began. But I had to wait. I went eight weeks without one. It’s the longest amount of time I have gone without one since I was three. It felt weird as my hair grew. My normal style was no longer an option. I realized that for close to forty-five years that I have taken this simple service for granted. Haircuts were just a part of life. You got your haircut and life moved on. Until it didn’t. It’s amazing what you miss once it’s no longer available.
One of the lessons that this pandemic has taught us is that we have taken much for granted. We have taken going to the store for granted. We have taken eating at a restaurant for granted. We have taken going to the gym for granted. We have taken going to movie theaters, live theater and concert venues for granted. We’ve taken going to barber shops, beauty salons and nail salons for granted. We have taken gathering as a church family for granted. I am thankful for the technology which has allowed us to record a video worship for each Sunday and to participate in Zoom Bible studies with the Fairlane family. But it hasn’t been the same as being together. It’s not the same as sitting in the same room together. It’s not the same as looking someone in the eye as you talk with them. It’s not the same as seeing our children and the joy and fun that they bring to us. It’s been good but not the same. We have taken gathering as the Fairlane family for granted.
My hope is that in the coming weeks as the Fairlane family reassembles that we will savor this time together. It will probably look a little different for a while. We will have different restrictions and ways of doing things to keep everyone safe and healthy, but I still hope we will savor and appreciate our time together. One of God’s greatest blessings to us is our Fairlane family. It’s not perfect and we share our struggles, but it’s good. It’s a loving family. It’s a family that is striving to love God and serve others. It’s a family that cares about you. So, as we gather back together in the coming days, let’s appreciate what God has done among us. Fairlane is a great place to be. Let’s not take it for granted anymore.
(This past Wednesday, I finally got that haircut. Thanks to Jennifer Jones at A Head of the Timez hair design for the cut!)