Eugene Cho

to hair or not to hair

I returned from my sabbatical with some long facial hair action.  It looked nasty enough that couple of our church staff walked into my office for what they called “an intervention.”  They said I was setting a bad example for the men in our church…  In short, they were trying to sensitively say that I looked nasty.  I personally think I’m looking pretty manly, rugged, and Northwestish…if I may say so.

But the truth is I’m at a crossroads.  There’s no in between.  Either I’ll go completely clean or go long beard and grow out my hair really long as in my past couple pseudo Nazarite vow episodes.  And when I grow out my hair, it looks pretty scary.  I go grunge or alternative/indie like this:

What do you think?  What should I do?  Clean or rugged?

And for what it’s worth, it really doesn’t matter what the polls decide…Minhee will lay down the law soon and her wish is my command.  But I’m playing a little stubborn right now.

* And to my bald readers, nothing personal.  If I looked as great as you, I’d go bald too.  🙂

Filed under: family

28 Responses

  1. voks says:

    In Denmark it is very popular at the moment to be ‘bold’ – not all bold but with a very very short hair! I am thinking about this myself but I really like my hair a few centimeters :-))

    Michael, Denmark

  2. Tyler says:

    I’m “rugged” right now. Long hair, beard growing daily….

    I think we should hold out and go rugged because I’ve had many “interventions” the past few weeks too.

  3. Patrick says:

    rugged. all the way!

  4. Bryan says:

    That would be a great CD cover.

    Go long. go rugged. Literally. Be like Jesus.

  5. Phyllis says:

    since you are returning from the wild, i suggest you go clean. when you were in the wild, do as the wild does… now you are back to the city – go clean!

  6. LOL don’t go long- you look like Tom Cruise from Mission: Impossible 2 in that pic. How about medium length hair, and keep the facial hair, only trimmed?

    Lauren will give you a free consultation after church tomorrow if need be 😉

    Then again I think the staffers may have been nutty on this one. You look presentable and put together in my opinion.

    -ian

  7. Jason says:

    Take it from the bald guy… go for rugged while you can! If you wait too long like I did, your beard will come in grey and it will look…well…old and faded. You can then be “bold” like the Danes when you’re my age.

  8. young c-m says:

    Admit it, you’re vain about your hair. 😉

  9. Tell everyone you’re going to keep it forever. Then wait as the offers of payment climb steadily. By the time you shave it off in three months you might get a new car from grateful friends and family 😉

  10. eugenecho says:

    all too funny.

    @jessie: if you hadn’t intervened, it might have been a string of male only commenters. like some sort of urban promise keepers gathering.

    @broken telegraph: dude, you and lauren are too pretty. you’re married to a professional stylist for goodness sake.

    @young c-m: my curly hair is the only thing i got going for me. this summer, i actually enjoyed not washing or tending to it too often. but do you know what happens to long curly hair in the humidity: you get keith green-ish hair.

    who cares about the financial mortgage crisis when there are more important things to tend to like whether i should hair or not hair.

  11. Wayne Park says:

    how in the world did Minhee allow it to go on for this long is my question.
    Either she’s tremendously patient or you’re remarkably persuasive.
    A little stash here and Ash is like “cut it off or I’ll get the garden shears”

  12. Peter Choi says:

    Keep it long and strong.

  13. Ben C says:

    It’s time to clean-up. Go GQ style. You’re not in college anymore. Presentation counts.

  14. Kris says:

    Get rid of it. It looks like you are trying to be college-ish and fadish and coolish when I’m sure you are way beyond that:) Sorry, just my opinion.

  15. sis says:

    I do not care if you have hair or none, as long as your heart doesn’t change and become rugged.

  16. Maren says:

    If your hair looks like Keith Green’s when its long, I say grow it out!!!

  17. Craig says:

    I am all for the Old Testament hair-to-blades ratio. It’ll make you that much more pomo-hip. How meta.

  18. Tom says:

    In my experience political and cultural and religious traditionalists who go with the current version of progressive externals make you want to go ‘hmmmmm…..’

    Political and religious progressives who go with the current version of traditional externals also make you want to go ‘hmmmm….’

    Still, I think the cross dressers and cross shavers have the most potential to get something useful and interesting done.

  19. Aaron says:

    If they tell you “Well, it will always grow back” its a lie. Trust me.

    Seriously though, I say go clean.

  20. Jordyne says:

    Nobody has said this yet, but I say MOHAWK it!

    not even kidding.

  21. amoslanka says:

    i’m down with beards. but thats me. hey, is that a godin archtop in that picture?

  22. Yonas says:

    The current picture: mid 20s Musician-ish

    The one on your blog banner: Late 30s Pastor-ish

    Disclaimer: One does not necessarily better than the other 🙂

  23. Kevin King says:

    From one pastor to another… here is my suggestion. Devise a way to put together a sermon series that requires/encourages the “rugged” look. Then you can inform those who are attempting the intervention that you are illustrating the point of the sermon visually! huh? Sound good!?!?

  24. eugenecho says:

    @layne: nice. very nice.

  25. billigvoks says:

    In Denmark, everyon use hairwax, in short hair. In Denmark a lot off peopel use ID voks. But a lot are also “bold” as well. But… My opinion,,, go with hair… 🙂

  26. billigvoks says:

    Keep the hair 😀 best from Billigvoks Id Voks

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One Day’s Wages

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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