So I went in search of the divine appointment today. I have never been to that restaurant or community before, but the GPS was flawless for a change.
I parked a block away and walked around the area for a bit before going in. The land was inert which surprised me. The restaurant decor was unremarkable. The service was sub sub par but fortunately, when my meal finally arrived 45 minutes later, it was only sub par.
I filled the time with people watching and found only a room full of generic Californians: emotionally excited about tomorrow, whining about the trivia of today, marinated in non-reality. I didn’t overhear a single compelling conversation or find the slightest draw to any ministry or engagement.
I guessed that the restaurant was just the bait and the purpose of the trip was elsewhere. I strolled around for a while, ascertaining that it was a fairly healthy Mercy community.
There was an event of some sort at the park, so I wandered over there and paid $5 to get into the enclosed area. It was a Mercy on Mercy set of booths, anchored by a jazz band of retirement aged Whites along with the token Black. I wished both of the White sax players could be replaced by Blacks.
Call me racist if you wish, but I much prefer to hear a Black man on brass. I feel the Black culture can do things with the sax that few Whites can achieve and the best trumpet playing I ever heard was when I was in San Quentin. I still remember the Black man named Bobby who had such a touch.
Just before I left the inner sanctum, I ran across three generations of ladies selling cookbooks with recipes from the denizens of the community. I was intrigued by the thought. A Mercy cookbook.
I am well familiar with the redemptive gift of Mercy expressed in a person, land, a community, a restaurant, a hotel, a state, a CEO, a hospital, an NFL coach, in the Oval office, the governor’s office, in writing and speaking styles, in parenting, in marriage, in home decor, in office decor, in architecture and in an airline. Why not expand my horizons and sample a Mercy cookbook?
The munchkin was ecstatic to report to the dowager of the clan that she had made her first very own personal sale of the day.
It will be an intriguing journey to explore a Mercy cookbook. A cursory glance shows high quality design with rounded section tabs providing appropriate demarcations (I kid you not).
I have a fairly atypical relationship with cookbooks. With consummate Prophet arrogance, I consider the intense labor of the author to be merely a jumping off point for me, not a metric to be observed. I cannot remember a recipe I did not feel inclined to improve upon.
No Michelin Red Book three star chef ever receives homage from me. They have merely announced the current frontier of excellence, and thereby invite the aspiring among us to push it further out and up.
That said, it will be horribly traumatic if a Mercy cookbook should happen to have reached sheer perfection, precluding improvement by me! I shall leave the book sitting on my desk tantalizing me until I am in just the right mood to crack the cover and take up the challenge.
Emerging from the realm of the paid elite, I wandered around the park with the hoi polloi where sundry artists had set up displays. I observed that Mercy community artists tend strongly toward paths that turn a corner and wander off in some undisclosed direction that might or might not have a destination.
While browsing, I found a German Prophet artist named Uwe Werner who stood out as an alien flavor in the Mercy community. There was a painting of a seascape that captures what I love about the sea. I knew immediately that it would look fabulous in my prayer room. I checked the teeny tiny fine print and discovered that it was priced at $8,000.
I decided immediately that this was an appropriate price for what he had captured about the ocean I love.
I checked my wallet to see if the King had been doing anything interesting during the long wait in the restaurant, but alas and alack, all that was there was my meager supply of mad money for the week.
I walked away with my Mercy cookbook consoling myself that at least I clearly had exceptionally good taste in fine art, even if I never had any formal education on the subject.
So did I accomplish what God had in mind? I have no clue. Maybe so, maybe not. Maybe this was just an introduction and I will go back there another time.
Regardless, I will sleep tonight with the peace that comes from knowing I have once again followed the prompting of my spirit, and right or wrong, effective or not, I at least made the effort to synchronize with the King.
On the way home I pondered the upcoming PTSD teaching. I sketched out a preliminary outline last night before going to bed and it was boring enough to give anyone PTSD if they didn’t already have it. On the way home a different approach emerged.
Boring is not a core value in our corporate culture.
Copyright April 2013 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub