Posted tagged ‘Floyd the barber’

Darla Time

March 7, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                     March 6, 2017


I got my hair cut on Saturday. Not an earth shattering event, I know, but one that I enjoy because of the person who cuts it for me.

Her name is Darla. I’ve known her for eighteen years and she always makes me laugh. I was her pastor for years and years, and there are just some people who you will always be close to even when your positional relationship with them changes.

Darla has a heart of gold. A couple of weeks ago a man that we both knew passed away. His daughter called Darla and asked if she could fix her mom’s hair. Darla, who works a ton of hours, made time to take that “worry” off of the grieving widow…hair that was showing the effects of sudden loss!

When I enter her shop, Locals Barbers, she greets me with a hug and asks me how I’m doing? Sometime in the first thirty seconds laughter erupts from each one of us! She plops me down in her chair and makes some comment about my hair or eye glasses, or the level of my tiredness. Her shop serves a free beer to its customers, but Darla knows that I hate beer so she offers to have one of her assistants go next door to Smashburger and get me a Coke.

Commence the chatter and conversation. With Darla there is no shortage of conversation. She flows one story into the next, always with a background of scissor snipping. She is my “Floyd!”, accomplishing her task while telling current day Mayberry stories.

I marvel at the importance that Darla places on fairness. She is the advocate for the mistreated, the balancer of the uneven. Her sense of fairness has cost her over the years. People who have looked to win or be right regardless of who gets hurt have turned their backs on her. They despise her emphasis on fairness. A previous employer was taking advantage of his employees so she stood in the gap for them. It cost her, but she can now look back at that situation knowing that she did the right thing.

So now I sit in her chair, laugh, listen, and talk as she sculptures my hair look. It is a time of pampering and levity that I am blessed to be the focus for.

We meet Jesus in different people. Darla has her limitations and challenges, but I see the reflection of Jesus coming through her. “Darla time” is always a time for being blessed.

Grace and Mayberry

February 5, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      February 5, 2013


My barber’s name is Phil Hanson. I began going to him a few years ago because a distinguished elderly man in our church, Charles Slusser, always had such a nicely-groomed head of white hair. One day I finally asked Charles where he got his hair cut and he pointed me in Phil’s direction. Phil is now 78 years old, but so far he hasn’t cut anything on my head but hair. The reason I have continued to go back to him again and again is because he reminds me of “Floyd” of Mayberry, hometown setting for “The Andy Griffith Show”.  I want my barber to be more like Floyd and less about style.

Phil has a loyal customer base of mostly older gentlemen who come more for the conversation and less about a cut. Floyd was like that, too. He may have been the only barber in Mayberry, but his shop was a place of conversation.

But, like most of the characters on Andy Griffith, Floyd required some grace. He, Goober, Gomer, Howard, Otis, and especially Barney Fife, all had their stumbles and bumbles. Their talent for doing boneheaded things was the basis for most of the 249 episodes of the series. Otis tried and failed to get sober numerous times. Barney carelessly first his pistol more than once. Even Aunt Bee needed grace in a few episodes.

For some reason Mayberry didn’t hold grudges. Forgiveness found a home there. (My favorite is the episode entitled “Citizen’s Arrest! Citizen’s Arrest!”) In a majority of the episodes Andy at some time would shake his head in disbelief and say, “Bar…ney!” By the time the thirty minute show was over, however, all had been forgiven.

Perhaps our world needs a little more Mayberry, and less of “The Real World.” Grace seems to be harder to come by these days as people seek their corner in the ring before they come out swinging.

Jesus was very gracious when it came to his disciples. Kind of like Andy Griffith dealing with his cast of Mayberry characters, Jesus dealt with men who wanted to know who would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven, wondered why they couldn’t cast out demons, doubted the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and weren’t sure what was going on a lot of the time.

I sometimes have to step back and realize that the picture I have of Jesus is one where he is battling with the Pharisees, or getting perturbed with the teachers of the Law. My picture needs to be updated with the Jesus of grace. He had the first group of trail-and-error followers. There was not a manual for them to follow, so they needed to follow Jesus closely…and sometimes they messed it up.

I think the church needs to be more like Mayberry, a place of grace. There’s a little bit of Floyd, Otis, Barney, and Aunt Bee in each one of us. A bit of waywardness, cluelessness, and falling short in various ways. The church is a cast of characters trying to get it together, but knowing there may be an episode next week that will cause some head-shaking.