Snip went the scissors as the barber set about giving his new customer a haircut. The man in the seat relaxed as his head tilted forwards. The two men were friends and enjoyed catching up on business and their respective families. Today, somehow the subject of God had come up and there was unexpected discord.

“Stop your nonsense,” said the barber, “there is no God and there never was.”

“How can you say such a thing?” said the man getting his hair cut.

“Come on, are you crazy. It’s so obvious. Take a look at what’s going on in the streets – sick people, abandoned children, criminals, the jobless, the homeless, pain, suffering and frustration. There’s no God. If he existed, he wouldn’t allow all this stuff.”

The customer was silent. He didn’t want to irritate the barber any further and he also wanted a decent haircut. They changed the subject and talked about the upcoming football match on the weekend.

The strife forgotten, the two men shook hands when it was time to say goodbye. As he stepped out onto the street, the customer saw a tall unkempt man crossing the road in front of him. His hair was long and beard grizzly. It inspired the watching man with a new thought. He turned back into the shop and beckoned for the barber.

“You know what friend, I don’t think barbers exist,” he said.

“What, what are you talking about. How can you say that, of course they do, I’m a barber for heaven’s sake,” said the barber.

“No, they don’t –really. How can they exist if there are men with long hair and beards? I saw just such a man on the street.”

The barber rolled his eyes. “That’s silly, barbers do exist but of course some people don’t come to us.”

“Exactly!” said the client. “God does exist but of course some people do not go to him. That’s why there is so much pain and suffering in the world.”