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By Roland Clark

Photo credit: Delfina on Unsplash

Seeing that I needed a haircut my son referred me to a barber named Kal. We had a lively conversation covering many topics including how he came to Canada from Lebanon four years ago and how badly the lockdown has impacted his business. I was curious to know if the name 'Kal' on his door was an abbreviation, to which he replied, “Yes, it's short for Khalid.”

Spontaneously, I said, “I love your name. Someone told me it means 'eternal' which calls to mind a wise saying of Solomon, “God has planted eternity in the human heart.” Reaching into my pocket I pulled out a piece of paper with Ecclesiastes 3:11 written on it.

Interestingly, I had earlier shared with Khalid a personal experience how in the last few weeks God answered our prayers. My immuno-compromised relative contracted COVID and almost had to be hospitalized of severe dehydration. Kal agreed whole-heartedly with the idea of answered prayer, acknowledging that he too believes in God. Then he added, “Unfortunately no one lives forever. We all have to die some day.”

Fortunately hair always keeps growing and needs to be cut often, so I plan to continue this conversation the next time I visit him. Interestingly, a few days after my haircut I told Khalid who composed the wise saying about eternity. He was curious to learn that it was Solomon, a man endowed by Allah with exceptional wisdom. I am praying that, in the near future I will be able to share with Khalid some relevant insights from a meditation titled, Homeward Bound available online here:

You may also like to read another interesting article based on Ecclesiastes 3:11 titled, Solomon and Jesus: Eternity and Immortality, which is available here:

This meaningful encounter with Khalid calls to mind Paul's advice to the church at Colosse, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity (to) let your conversation be seasoned with salt.” Clearly, the apostle believed God would open doors not only in his life but also in each of our lives as we rub shoulders with neighbors in the daily routines of life, whether a hairdresser or whoever. Therefore, as disciples of Jesus, called to be his witnesses, let us all be more prayerful and alert to openings to share a reason for our hope. Bear in mind: this heart-felt longing for eternity as encapsulated in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (cf. 7:1-4) pertains not only to Muslims like Khalid (who comprise 10% of our city) it resonates with everyone.