I sneezed this morning and there was no familiar “God bless you.”
That’s when the realization hit me that my sweet Linda has left me. Oh, don’t worry, she’ll be back in a fortnight. At least I hope she doesn’t find her stay in the Phoenix area with her sister Renee and our desert daughter, Christy, so appealing that the thought of returning to life back here with snow, cold, and Doug’s dirty underwear in need of laundering too repugnant.
Well, I feel pretty good about writing my blog here at Dunn Bros. Coffee shop this week..only because I know I’m in good company..and I do mean GOOD company. I’m pretty sure the guy sitting next to me is a young minister working on this week’s sermon. I suppose he could be a seminary student but looks too old for that. Perhaps a professor of religion but..no, I think from the way he was counseling a young family sitting off to his right a few minutes ago, he’s a minister all right. I dare not look at what he’s writing on his laptop and have tried to avoid listening in on his numerous phone conversations by putting on my headphones and tuning in to one of the web stations playing free big band jazz music which, I guess, if you put my feet to the fire insisting on knowing, would be my favorite. “Night and Day” is currently in my ear.
Anyway, the reverend is also surrounded by several religious books including a very well worn Bible and he’s intensely taking notes both written and on his computer.
I’d like to strike up a conversation with him. “Does the Lord speak to you more clearly here in a busy coffee shop than in the solitude of your office too?” But I don’t dare ask, of course. I’d need more than coffee for that kind of nerve.
Oh, man, “Time after Time” is playing now. I adore that song especially when performed by a big band. I started singing the words forgetting I had headphones on and was a tad embarrassed when I apparently broke the silence of our serene surroundings and sensed a few eyes glancing my way.
I wonder if God talks out loud to this guy or just sends thoughts and signs his way leaving the interpretation up to him but clear enough to leave no doubt that his God is as real as the sun, moon and stars and that any and all questions about life and its complications can be answered in the scriptures..or better yet in a clear voice. I’d like to ask him why this old hypocrite is so miserable in his faith or lack of it and as he grows “nearer my God to thee” is not all that convinced that his baptism, confirmation, regular confession of sin, declaration of faith and holy communion is enough for that golden ticket through the pearly gates. It’s a question doubters have been asking for generations and, unless the Lord should decide to give me a special audience to clear things up before the big dirt nap, I’ll just have to hope I encounter the Jesus who showed mercy to the repentant thief on the cross..not the Jesus who talked a lot about the wide road to Hell and narrow way to salvation. .
My mysterious padre has broken his silence again..not with me but the guy who sat next to him. Since I had to visit the men’s, I couldn’t help but overhear him preach what he’s been practicing to the fella. Maybe he’s a Jehovah Witness who works neighborhood coffee shops instead of just neighborhoods. Nah.. don’t they usually travel in pairs?
“All the things you are.” A beautiful classic from Jerome Kern. Love it.
Yup, I’m almost certain this chap is a chaplain. He just stepped out to his car and came back with what appears to be a hymnal; a Lutheran hymnal, I think..the red one. He must be closing in on the end of his sermon if he’s picking out the tunes.
I guess I better be going too. Maybe I should ask where he’ll be preaching on Sunday perhaps I’ll come for a visit.
Nah..don’t want to bother his studies.
It sure would be nice though if the Lord would send a clear sign my way once in a while..maybe one of his own special envoys.. just to let me know He’s really out there and ready to visit any time.
Ah, Artie Shaw’s “Stardust”..heavenly.