Life on the playground

Across the street from the Christian Century's offices there used to be a wholesale outlet that sold barber supplies. On the first morning I reported for work as editor of this magazine in the summer of 1972, I left the house without a comb, so I stopped by the store to buy one. An employee looked at me with disdain. "This is a wholesale outlet; we don't sell combs." I slunk away, chagrined and embarrassed as a country boy in a big city would be, and walked across the street to my first day at work.

The barber supply shop moved out last year. But throughout almost all my 26 and a half years as editor, an assignment that ends February 15, that shop on the corner was there to remind me of a moment when my elevated ego was reduced to its proper size. I like to think that God gave me that early morning encounter as a constant reminder of the importance of modesty.


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