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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 4 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago