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Barber Finds Out He’s a Son of The King

For many barbers, clippers are just a tool of the trade. For Greg Colon, they symbolize a gesture of love–a Christmas gift from his dad when he was 15 years old. “In my heart it meant the world, it really did,” says Greg. But at the time, Greg couldn’t show it.

“Such a tornado of emotions going on. I just knew I didn't want anything to do with him,” he says recalling his past. That’s because as long as Greg could remember his dad was a drug addict and rarely around. And when he was...Greg remembers, “My earliest memories, I remember waking up one Christmas morning seeing a plate of syringes where we left the cookies and milk for Santa.”

At nine, Greg and his siblings went to live with their grandparents in the Bronx. They had little to offer in terms of material things, but what they could give was love. For a kid desperately needing acceptance, that wasn’t enough.

Greg reflects on his childhood, “What attracted me were the more violent kids, the ones who had the nice sneakers, the nice clothes.” Little by little, Greg was pulled in by the kids he admired, the only thing keeping him back was his love and respect for his grandfather.

Then, when Greg was 12, he watched his grandfather die of a heart attack. “The one person in my life that was a father figure, a mentor, somebody who really got me as a kid, and actually cared, now is gone. I was just empty inside,” Greg says with a heavy heart.

It wasn’t long before Greg started selling drugs, chasing the things he thought would fill the emptiness in his life. “I was making money to give myself things people couldn’t give to me before,” says Greg.

By 15, he had dropped out of high school. Not only was he selling drugs, he was using them. It was then he and his brother moved in with their dad, who was now drug-free, and wanted to build a relationship with his sons; but Greg couldn’t let go of his hurt and anger.

“I guess I blamed him, you know, cause like Oh, my grandfather, you know, he was the one I really wanted. I have no business being around you,” Greg admits. That bitterness would start to lose its edge.

It was Christmas of that year. By then Greg had started cutting hair for some of the boys in the neighborhood. “I opened up one of my gifts and it was like a real good pair of – like a professional pair of clippers. And he was like 'I know you're into this.' So, you know, I think he saw how much I actually enjoyed it,” says Greg. It took time, but the rift between father and son began to close. 

Then Greg would suffer more devastating losses. First, his mom, who died from alcoholism. Then, two years after coming back into his son’s life, Greg’s father died from AIDS when Greg was 19. “I felt so guilty, that I didn’t have a chance to right any wrongs,” Greg says.  

By now Greg was all-in building his drug business. He even opened a barber shop to serve as a front. And while it afforded him the lifestyle he had dreamed of, it didn’t fill his need to be loved, or ease the pain of his losses.

“It was all about me. It was about money, it was about greed, and it was about self-indulgence,” Greg admits, “I didn’t know how to live without any sort of substance. I liked it, I loved it. I loved the way I was living. I loved what it could do for me. I loved how it made me feel.”

Greg made a few attempts at rehab, but they all failed. By 2015, Greg, now 34, had lost everything.

Finally, his sister convinced him to try rehab one more time. “I was so hardened by what I had done to myself, I would look for anybody to blame, and now there’s really nobody left for me to blame but God,” Greg recalls.

After completing a detox program, he moved into a recovery home in Alexandria, Virginia. There he met Pastor Garrett Kell.

Greg retells his memory of that moment, “He opens up the book of John and right away he starts pointing me to Jesus. And he was like, you know, 'You need to know He loves you.' I never thought anybody did.” Through church, and the support of a Christian community, Greg felt the years of hurt and anger falling away. 

One day, while having coffee with Pastor Garrett, Greg realized he was a changed man, loved and accepted by God. “He looks at me and he goes, 'Why are you smiling?' I want to commit to the Lord, because Jesus has done so much in my life. I got some sort of freedom, I got a peace in my heart. My life got changed. My world got flipped upside down, and Jesus did that for me. I am a man of the Lord, I am the son of The King,” Greg proclaims. He is ready to take a stand.

Today, Greg is still a barber and loving it. Because every time someone sits in his chair, he sees an opportunity to share his story, and the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

“The word is life; the Gospel is true. When you accept Jesus Christ into your life change just happens,” Greg shares.

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