So I’m back at RJ’s Cafe (my Johnny’s). Got here in time for my favorite booth. Only three tables are taken right now. There’s a family with two young kids starting a birthday off with breakfast at RJ’s. A heavy-set bearded man wearing a knit beanie at the table next to me goes over there and says loudly, “Okay, whose birthday is it? How old? Four! I’ve had six kids and four grandkids. That’s why I put on all this weight! Too much birthday cake! Happy Birthday!” Santa Claus couldn’t have done better.
The ‘60s – ‘70s music they pipe in here is a fitting soundtrack.
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know…
Two guys who just sat in the booth behind me are Christians talking about their families and when they got saved.
Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Laura, my server, calls across the room to me to find out if I want more coffee. I always want more coffee. With so few tables taken, I can pick up pieces of conversations all over, like the two older gentlemen across the room (careful now) who are talking about whether Christine Blasey Ford will testify in Bret Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
Old man look at my life, I’m a lot like you.
Summer is obviously over. Last time I was here, they would have been full by now and I would have started to feel guilty taking up a booth, especially with people waiting outside.
Laura warms my coffee. “Stay as long as you like.”
Now the family is singing, “Happy Birthday to You,” and Laura is joining them.
And in the morning when I rise bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me everything’s going to be alright.
Suddenly I notice how full it’s getting and how the conversations have lost their distinctiveness and turned into a moderate buzz with only a word or two popping out once in a while.
The words of the prophets are written on subway walls.
“Don’t judge; join.” It’s a fitting directive. There are people here whom I could easily judge just by their outward appearance. I would undoubtedly be wrong. And what purpose would it serve? Much better to join — see myself a part of all this. Besides, I like these people, and God loves them.
Much better to join them; don’t judge them.
How sweet it is to be loved by you.