A Close Shave with God


Several years ago I set out on a quest. A quest that many, many men before me have undertaken, and that tens of thousands undertake practically every day: Find a comfortable, close shave.


I have tried maybe a dozen different types of razors, blades, shaving creams, shaving lotions, etc. over the years to varying degrees of satisfaction. Over the past three years I have moved backwards in the world of shaving technology.   I started with the latest 6-blade razor and went to a safety razor (like my grandfather used), and now I use a straight razor, shaving mug and badger-hair brush (like my great grandfather!).  I have to say that the straight razor is the most comfortable and best shave I’ve ever had. There is a sense of real reward and satisfaction about the work, the process of shaving.


Brother Lawrence, the Carmelite monk who mostly was concerned with washing up the dishes or cleaning out the stables—certainly not something as grand as a prior or abbot—found God every day in the little things of his life. In the menial and mundane tasks he did day in and day out, he found and worshiped God. The tasks he performed, no matter how small or large, were done always for the love of God. Brother Lawrence met God and worshiped God with his every task.

brother lawrence

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”


When we set out to do the various little things that make up our day—the necessary, but perhaps not-often-loved tasks—what would happen if we did these things not simply to cross them off the list, but we did them for the love of God? What if we lovingly did things like take out the trash, picked the kids up from school, balanced our checkbook, or even shaved, in gratitude for God’s love?


My challenge for us all on this second of these 12 Days of Christmas—as we celebrate the love that God has for the world as witnessed by the birth of Jesus—is to do all of “the little things,” with love. As we do them throughout our day, let us remember, at every turn, that we are doing these things for the love of God because God loves us so very much.




About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Close Shave with God

  1. Bruce Barrow says:

    You long ago earned my respect as our youngest pastor. Now I learn that you have the courage and skill to use a straight razor! I stand in awe.

  2. Margaret Easter says:

    Thanks Matthew for reminding us of the holiness of the everyday parts of our lives!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s