Since I am “semi-retired” (My current job is to be the interim pastor for congregations while they search for a new pastor after their previous pastor has left.), I allow myself the luxury of not shaving when I have no pastoral responsibilities. This week, that meant that I went from Wednesday to Sunday shave-less. I have never had a very heavy beard. In college, when we would have beard growing contests, I was in the lightweight division, and usually lost. But as I have aged, my beard has filled in somewhat, and has also changed color to distinguished grey. So, this past Sunday morning I had a good “GQ” stubble growing.
My alarm went off at 6:30 on Sunday. I crawled out of bed, shuffled into the shower, and after I dried off, I stepped in front of my mirror to shave. I picked up my razor, an electric one, and applied it a-buzzing to my bearded face. All was going well as I removed the stubble from the left side of my face, but when I got to my moustache, my razor immediately stopped! One look, and I knew why. The charge was all used up. I reached into my cabinet and pulled out the cord and charger, plugged it in, and figured all would be fine….but it was not. It would not work. The “battery low” light just kept on blinking. No buzzing. No shaving.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do. My face was still half bearded. I briefly considered going to work as is, just to see if anyone noticed (hahaha). Because I have always used an electric razor, I couldn’t even pull out a blade and shaving cream. I don’t have either. It occurred to me that I might have saved my old electric razor, so I opened up the cabinet to see if my memory was serving me right. And it was. There in the back of the cabinet was my old razor.
Of course, the reason that I replaced my old razor was that it wasn’t shaving very well, anymore. I think it was around 15 years old. But without another option, I pulled it out, and hit the power button on it. Red lights started blinking on it. “Battery low.” But it did make a soft and labored hum. Realizing that my time was limited, I quickly applied to my face. It was making a dent on my stubble, but a slow and incomplete dent. But I pressed on, in hopes that the battery would not give out before the job was done. Fortunately it did not. Unfortunately, the job that it did was not perfect, but I decided that it would have to be perfect enough….a couple of stray stubbles and a less close of a shave. So, I went to work a bit lopsided, shaved.
If anyone noticed, they didn’t say anything. People tend to be polite. Nonetheless, I resolved to make sure that from now on I would fully charge my razor more often.
To have a shaver lose its power is really a minor thing in the grand scheme of things. But to have the thing you lean on for help when the world is collapsing around you run out of power, now that is a terrible thing. That is why the verse from Hebrews 8 carries so much weight for me, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”
Jesus power never runs out. When a person needs forgiveness, Jesus will always have the power to forgive. When a person needs strength to make it through struggles, Jesus will always have the power to hold them tight. When a person has fallen in a hole of their own making, Jesus will always have the power to jump into that hole with the person and lift them out. When a person is being bullied, shunned, or shamed by the world, Jesus will always have the power to push through that crowd and stand in harms way. Life hits everyone….everyone….with tough blows, and that is why I am thankful to know that no matter what comes, Jesus’ power will be there.
It may be dangerous to shave with an electric razor, but one of the greatest things to know and count on in life is that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.” Jesus’ power never runs out.
Have a great week. God’s grace and peace, (ggap) Pastor Jerry Nuernberger