A BARBER BELIEVES
Not long ago on a quiet Sunday afternoon I took a stroll through the park which bordered the suburb, I lived in. Having enough leisure time I decided to sit on the park bench and just take in the surrounding beauty which always had a therapeutic effect on me.
I had just seated myself on the bench when a young man came and sat beside me. After the exchange of greetings we began chatting. One topic led to another and then we found ourselves delving into a discussion on the existence of GOD. To me the young man was on the brink of atheism as his views concurred more with atheism than theism. He cited a good few reasons as to why God did not exist. I listened to him attentively for some-time all the while trying to prepare something that would prove him wrong. And then, as if by some sort of divine inspiration, a story which I came across very many years ago came to mind, which I decided would prove my point and change the young man’s perception on the existence of GOD or rather the non-existence of God.
As the young man finished, quite confident that he had proved his point, he said to me, “Sir, it is now your turn to convince me otherwise.” I smiled at the young man, and then related to him the following story.
Once a man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber worked with his hair a conversation was started. They talked about many things and various subjects and then touched on the subject of God. The barber was quite vehement when he said: "I
don't believe that God exists."
"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.
"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine how a loving and caring God who would allow all of these things."
The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. He knew that this was a very sensitive topic and carried the potential of offending the barber unless he really had concrete evidence to back up his belief in the existence of God. The barber finished cutting and grooming the customer’s hair where after the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. As he looked at the man badly in need of a haircut an idea sprung to his head. Strangely and amazingly, He could use this man’s example to prove that God did exist!
The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just cut and groomed your hair!"
"No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."
The man smiled triumphantly and said: "Exactly!"! "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for him and because you have not really gone to GOD you perceive that he does not exist! The barber thought deeply and then said: “Now I do believe”.
All the young man said was wow! It’s quite possible that because I too have not been looking for GOD in the right way, I too felt that He did not exist!