A Barber, a Yoke and a…. Part 1

Matthew 11

28.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

29.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls.

30.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

One of my kid’s mom, Sondra, ended up in the hospital in mid December 2006.  She wasn’t doing too well, fighting a number of medical issues that no one in their late 30’s should have to fight.  But, a difficult life and bad decisions had led her to this place.  She checked herself out of the hospital.  Although I had pleaded with her to go back to MCV, she said that she had some things to do and would go back after the first of the year.  Unfortunately, she passed on January 3, 2007.  She left behind 4 children from the ages of 13 -18.  My kid (KK) was the youngest of the 4, and he lived with his dad, Marcellous.

Some of the youth leaders and I started spending time with KK after school until his dad could quit his 2nd job a few weeks later.  Only a week or so went by when Marcellous, also ended up in the hospital, due to complications with diabetes.  KK came to live with me.  He struggled with school…with life.  He had seen more in his short 13 years than I had seen in my life of 44 years.  His mom had made many choices to sustain her habits….choices no woman really wants to make but does anyway.  KK had seen people get shot.  He had seen drugs and alcohol be abused.  He was labeled early in life by the school system.  His siblings lived with different family members.  His older brother chose the street and was in and out of jail for various reasons.  I LOVED KK…a lot!

Marcellous was in and out of the hospital with complications.  There was a time when we thought we were going to lose him.  He rallied, but due to weakness and the need for continued care, Marcellous wasn’t yet prepared to care for his son.

KK went to live with his Aunt in NJ for the summer.  Marcellous eventually got stronger.  I spent many hours with him…as he no real friends or family.  He left his family years ago.  Then…one night he accepted the Lord as his Savior.  He wanted to go to church, but was still in rehab…learning to walk again.  But, he didn’t want to go with his hair long.   You see…his fro was about 3 inches high.

I went on a mission to find someone who would cut his hair at the rehab center.  I could find NO ONE who was willing to go.  Until Marc (you know…my friend at work) introduced me to Emmanuel.  Emmanuel has a barber shop called Edify 360 on Hull and Turner.  HE was willing to come…but it wouldn’t be until about 9pm at night.  I turned him down at first.  Not wanting to inconvenience him….come clear across town at that time of night.  But…I finally relented.  And I am SOOO glad that I did!!!

WOW!  Marc, Emmanuel and I rolled up to the rehab center.  I had NOOO idea what I was getting into.  Neither did Marcellous for that matter!  Meanwhile…Emmanuel wasn’t sure what he was doing either.  He wasn’t quite sure about me…and my heart.  But….after that night…let’s just say…we were all convinced it was a divine appointment!

Emmanuel proceeded to not only cut his hair, but he also encouraged and build him up (note the name of his shop…EDIFY!!).  As Marcellous said, “Miss Marti…I didn’t know I was getting a cut AND a sermon!” with both hands in the air…thanking God and Emmanuel.  Emmanuel did more than edify Marcellous.  He touched my heart that night.  How he was an ordinary barber…doing extraordinary things!!!  To this day….Emmanuel and I have done this more than once.  His wife Marsha says….”When Miss Marti calls, Emmanuel goes!”  I LOVE her and their 2 beautiful kids for sharing her husband and their dad with me in the ministry of loving God and loving others.  Although…it is NOT unusual for at least one of them to tag along.  Emmanuel is modeling what it is to be on mission with Jesus to his family.  May God BLESS Edify 360 and the Gayot family!!!  (Shameless plug for Edify 360!)

God wasn’t done with Marcellous yet…so neither am I. The story is going to require another post.  Stay tuned for part 2.  In the meantime…

Go see Emmanuel at Edify 360 and get a great haircut. You just might run into Marc or Louis there.  Give ’em a hug from me!  I love them all…and you will too!