Saturday, March 20, 2010

TPC: Fastest Balding Church In America!

Well, it’s official, The People’s Church is the fastest balding church in America! At least that’s the way it seems these days. Tuesday night, March 16, was quite a night for me. I arrived at the church just before 7 p.m. for what was deemed “Going Slick With Rick.” One of the guys in our church came up with the idea that he would challenge others to shave their heads in order to support me in my battle with lymphoma. Now frankly when I first heard about this I thought –not.

Who in the world would be willing to shave their head? Well, now I know at least 42 guys who said “I’m in.”

It was a fun night with a very festive atmosphere; in fact it had the feel of a frat party minus the booze. Guys of every age lined up as our five professional barbers did the shearing.

We laughed at each other and simply had a great time. Now, truthfully, a few of the guys had little to sacrifice since Mother Nature had already taken her toll on them. Others, however, went away with a lot less than they came in the door with. Some of my “little brothers” were fun to watch as they joined their dads in the time of shearing while some of their moms watched with just a little tear in the eye.

News Channel 5 and News 2 were on hand once again to capture on film what was taking place. It was shown on the 10 o’clock news on both stations.

A reporter from one of the Nashville papers also presented to do an upcoming story. One of the reporters asked me on camera, “how does this make you feel?” Honestly, I am not at

a loss for words often in my life, but this experience brought me pretty close. There was a mixture of emotions going on inside of me all at one time. Rather than trying to explain them all to you, let me just say I was deeply humbled. How do you express your thanks to a bunch of guys who just lined up and shaved off all their hair just to demonstrate love and support for what you’re going through? I think I could write for the next week and never really capture in words what I would like to express to this very special band of brothers.

Now, while I am thanking my brothers, I also need to say there were a number of ladies present who left with a green streak in their hair (lymphoma color) to also show support. My good friend Mary Barnes told me she really wanted to shave her head since her husband, son, and grandson had all joined in. Thankfully, Mary restrained herself, but her heart was right there with us. Also our Women’s Ministry furnished snacks for all who were in attendance.

Someone who has survived this disease wrote me earlier this week and said: “you will never experience more love from people and more of God’s presence as you will during this journey.” This person was absolutely right. Patti and I have experienced things in the past few days where we turn and look at each other and say “only God.” The kindness of our God surrounds us each day and is expressed in so many ways.

Tuesday night it was expressed by 42 shaved heads. Thanks guys. I am in your debt.



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