The Mystery Restaurant


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

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8 Responses to The Mystery Restaurant

  1. Carla says:

    I’ve always been drawn to Prophets, so I think I’ve become desensitized to a tone that can be somewhat… er… shall we say, uh…. critical? This realization hit me when you were talking about us whiny Californians. So I LOVED it when you acknowledged your tone!!!!

    You are such a good storyteller. You removed all the distraction I had from the tension caused by how you spoke about us Californians. This happened when you wrote, “With consummate Prophet arrogance…” I’m learning from you.

    (Btw, this isn’t a backhanded complaint. I wouldn’t change you or your tone iota, but still, your acknowledgement of Prophet arrogance was perfect. And funny.)

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    • Carol Brown says:

      Hear, hear! This was my reaction as well! Prophet though you may be Arthur, your blog was not unlike those Mercy paintings with pathways that may not go anywhere!

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  2. jimalseth says:

    Thanks for that Arthur.

    I’m sorry though–I have to ask the question that is begging to be asked by those of us still growing in our ability to distinguish the flavor of land (or other entities–I’m getting not too bad with people; I still struggle with land though):

    What makes all those things you listed distinctly Mercy?

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Jim, none of the things I listed make it Mercy. Sorry for the confusion. There were a lot of other indicators that I didn’t write about that pointed to the Mercy nature of the community, plus a certain degree of discernment since this is one of the three gifts I can feel with a reasonable level of accuracy.

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  3. snoopsparky says:

    It would be so easy to speculate on the purposes of such an outing with various ideas. 1. The mystery of the adventure will be revealed at a later time. 2. This was practice for a more important event. 3. This was somehow designed to put away some notion that everything is to be taken seriously. 4. Papa was working something else out while being conveniently out of the picture.
    Perhaps in my simple and reasonably uncomplicated heart, I understand that being alone with my King is never wasted time.

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  4. Michael says:

    I have found there are times when the Lord has prompted me to do such as you did Arthur purely for my, and His, enjoyment — kind of a God date if you will. Not for any ministry purpose, just He and I hanging out for awhile. One such a time was on my birthday. I had nothing planned with anyone so I thought I would go to a beautiful shopping area near my home at the time. I had been looking everywhere for a particular perfume without any success when there before me was a perfumery. Lo and behold they carried the scent I had searched for high and low. After buying the perfume I thought I would grab a bite and found a lovely Italian, my favorite cusine, restuarant. Lunch was incredible!! Then the perfect ending to a perfect afternoon. Walking toward the parking lot to my car I heard a familar melody coming from the plaza off in the distance as I got closer I recognized Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, my favorite musical score. I stood listening to the wonderful violinest play this beautiful melody and I realized the Lord had planned the afternoon just for my enjoyment!!
    By the way, I recieved the CD series Life, Dominion, and Honor—-WOW!! There is so much to process. I am looking forward to SC and all that God has in store.

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    • Tracy H says:

      Awesome God! I had a birthday like that last year. We headed down to the beachfront in the late afternoon, my small family and I, and decided to have a game of mini-golf (putt putt, we call it here). I had an unprecedented number of “holes-in-one”. To boot, right behind us was a family with a dad (whom I had never seen before) who kept doing the “whoot-whoot” each time I got a hole-in-one, saying loudly for all to hear,”Man, God REALLY loves you!” – not easy to ignore on a crowded mini-golf course. At the last hole (virtually impossible to ace), I said quietly to God, “Well…if you are trying to make a point…maybe this is the place to do it!” Guess what?? Another hole-in-one! Then we moved on to another spot at the beachfront and there, against a beautiful Cape Town sunset, we found an outdoor Argentine tango demonstration – my favourite dance! God sure knows how to woo us and let us know He loves us! He really is the Lover of our souls. I like to “go with” His plan some days – just really go with it. No ifs or buts….just get in the car and drive or walk in a place and pick up the flavours and listen to what He would have me hear.

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  5. God is Good says:

    I love this! A leader in the Christian world following Holy Spirit promptings with no agenda, and no issue as to whether he/she was “wasting time”. Thank you … It resonated. I do the same listen go stop for the one … Or not … Sometimes just wander as He directs … And although at times, as a busy mum I wonder about the effectiveness I hold into the faith/belief that it is effective to listen and obey, regardless of whether I have “achieved” anything in the natural … Synchronicity with the Spirit … It’s just a lovely encouraging entry … Thankyou.

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