At a place where walk-ins are welcome, they are still talking about the customer who came in on Saturday.
“Actually, I wanted to give him a bald fade, but I couldn’t do that,” laughed Adam Rodriguez, owner of Kingdom Cuts barbershop.
Just after lunch on Saturday, in front of a crowd of cameras, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took a seat in Adam’s barber chair. It was a supposed to be a ‘photo opp’ for Cruz’s re-election campaign but turned into a town hall as customers and visitors began asking questions.
For Adam, and his wife Shawna, it was a moment they couldn’t have imagined ten years ago.
“Ten years ago, I was sitting in that picture back there. That’s me in prison,” he said pointing to a picture pinned on the wall.
“And ten years ago, I was lost in a life of addiction and drugs and alcohol and debauchery,” Shawna explained.
“Debauchery. Yep. That’s the word. Debauchery,” Adam added.
Drugs sent him to prison twice.
“My turning point was when I was sitting in the cell and I was sick and tired. Just sick and tired. I told God to take over,” he remembered.
Adam began sharing his rediscovered faith with Shawna through letters. Both were raised in the church but strayed from it as teenagers and young adults.
“Adam’s letters were stirring my heart to turn to God through all this,” she said.
“Shawna, I was born with a hard head. I lived by my own rules,” Shawna read while thumbing through several of the old letters. They are pieces of paper she keeps tucked neatly in the pages of her Bible.
“I give all the glory to God. Thank you, Jesus. I’ll have to get back with you tomorrow. I’ll say a prayer for you,” she read aloud while becoming emotional.
“The pain that we have endured from the life that we have lived and to break free of it. It’s a miracle that causes you to cry,” Shawna added while wiping away tears.
“I showed Senator Cruz where I came from,” Adam said referencing again that picture of him in prison.
He is an ex-felon turned business owner. Successful, he said, because he and his wife, Shawna, have a foundation in faith.
“I said ‘Senator before you leave, you don’t mind if I pray with you? It’s in my heart to pray for you,’” Adam recalled. With heads bowed, Adam, Shawna and the senator held hands and paused for prayer.
Their faith and the Dallas Cowboys are the main things discussed in this shop. Not politics.
Today, the couple keeps a Bible at the barbershop, open to Psalms 91. It’s one of their favorite scriptures.
They are unashamed of what they survived and proof of what is possible.
“We would love to remain an example to any moms out there that are struggling with the same situation of mental and emotional abuse of dealing with addiction, or the drug life. Reach out to me,” Shawna said.