“But so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go to a place where we can be alone and get some rest.” They left in a boat for a place where they could be alone.
Mark 6:31-32 (CEV)
It was warm for February and the sun shone brightly as we trooped up Main Street heading for our “haunt”, a locally owned coffee shop. It was girls’ day out, as it is so often now-a-days. My daughter, granddaughter, sister, and I share an appetite for good coffee and atmosphere, preferably in this old antique building in our little city’s downtown heart. In every block they remain ~ these old buildings ~ precious gems, in the midst of plastic and concrete.
We have a favorite spot for our rite of swigging caffeine; we enter through weighty aged oak doors partially filled with thick and heavy leaded beveled glass inserts. Due to our usually raucous nature, we pass by the choices of cozy tables and window seats that fill the nooks on either side. We skirt the sofas and coffee tables and head straight for the counter, which is a wooden marvel, a relic salvaged from its former glory in some by-gone bar.
After a giddy time of “selection making”, we juggle our mugs and head for the far reaches of the shop. The old brick walls and pine floor beg us to stay inside, but if it isn’t raining or snowing we trudge on; the sign “Pergola not open today”, hanging on the back door, barely swings as we exit through it. The barista forgives us for this disobedience because she knows the untidy state of the patio ~ in the off seasons ~ bothers us not at all.
So we gather under the lush green or dried brown stems of clinging vines, and treat our eyes to a “touch of the past”. The old brick has followed us here; we are surrounded by mossy covered shades of red and dusty orange; they are formed by the neighboring buildings that have been here long before my grandfather’s day. There is a small brick pool behind a low wall that’s guarded by a wrought iron wall hanging, fashioned as a multitude of fish. A wrought iron stairway leads to an iron balcony that hangs out from the tucked away apartment located above this little Eden.
We grab our chairs and immediately fall under the spell of these enchanted moments. Is it because of the ambiance of the place, or is it a state of mind we enter into here in this time set aside, while we are walled away and shut off from the distractions of the bustling world? Even though we’re boisterous, it seems as if we’ve walked into a prayer.
God is so wise in His way of “giving us our daily bread”; He nourishes every area of our lives. His children’s hearts are enhanced, refreshed, and rested as bonds of family love grow even stronger and memories are made ~ often to be relished in those times when we must look inward rather than outward to find a source of pleasure. It is then we realize the blessings of the moment have become even more precious as reflections.
The sun moves across the sky in quick order, but time in these enclosed walls seems to flow as slow as molasses, and is as golden and sweet.
We, kin in flesh and sisters in spirit, are each an extension of the other and our lives weave around and touch all the angles, planes, the length and breadth of the filled and hollow spaces of our individual reality. So, we enjoy our day with thanksgiving and grateful hearts, for the time of rest and refreshment that Jesus modeled for us. We have added another layer and increased the depth of appreciation of all He means to us, and for each other.
Tossing our napkins in the trash can as we traipse back through to the front section of the shop, we startle the girl making a fresh brew, “Oh. I thought you were long gone!”
“Nope, we’re still here!” But not for long; back to the world we go, rested and refreshed ~ a blessing well placed by our Heavenly Father. We pull open the heavy door.
There are some who ask, “Who will be good to us?” Let Your kindness, Lord, shine brightly on us. You brought me more happiness than a rich harvest of grain and grapes. Psalms 4:6-7 (CEV)