Café

 

Ca: (n) a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks.

All of my life I have been surrounded by friends who enjoy discovering out-of-the-way, little cafes.

I won’t even mention the fact that these establishments usually last about six months before someone finds one down the street that’s
“cuter.”

I am a big person. (By big, I’m referring to the size of my body, not necessarily my soul.)

So these little places are tedious, if not arduous, for me to negotiate. The tables are tiny and the chairs provide a landing area for only one of my butt-cheeks.

Then there are the toy meals:

Croissants–which can be consumed with three bites.

A Danish–which doesn’t really taste that much better than the one I once ate at a flea-bag motel off their free Continental breakfast.

And of course, the over-emphasis on the coffee and tea.

My friends sit there, cross their legs and chat with one another, munching on the tiny provisions as if they have found a precursor to heavenly bliss.

I am uncomfortable. I am misplaced. I am a dog at a cat rodeo. I am an apolitical advocate who finds himself at a get-out-the-vote rally.

Over the years, I have learned ways to excuse myself from such awkward pretense.

So now when I hear the word “café ,” my brain just naturally translates it into “caf-nay.

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Archetype

dictionary with letter A

Archetype (n): a typical example of a person or thing; an original that has been imitated.

Even though I am sure the number changes continually, the numeral I garnered from research was 353.

That is the number of Protestant Christian denominations at work in our world today.

Some people think this is a necessity so that we’re able to express our personality flair with our spiritual experience. But with each and every one of these denominations comes a focus on a specific point of philosophy or doctrine, which makes them imbalanced from the overall impression that was intended by the archetype of the faith, Jesus of Nazareth.

If you want to be mocked and considered naive, just merely suggest that the ideal circumstance for Christians is to attempt to live like Jesus. People will smile at your abstract innocence and say, “Well, many things are open to interpretation.”

(With that I would agree. That’s why we should avoid many things.)

But the gospel records give us a great shadow of the lifestyle of this carpenter-turned-preacher, so we certainly should be able to focus on a few personality traits and incorporate them into our practice.

1. Our archetype, Jesus, didn’t care if people were religious or whores–just as long as they knew that a certain amount of repentance is necessary for us all.

2. Jesus didn’t favor Jews over Gentiles, making the Jews very upset and the Gentiles stomp around, joyously saying, “‘Bout time.”

3. Jesus was not impressed with the traditions of men, which were manipulated so as to generate a climate of intellectualism instead of true spirituality.

4. Jesus didn’t really care much about people who wanted to be mediocre.

5. Jesus didn’t chase people down. He let them find him and bring their faith.

6. Jesus was more concerned about people who were lost than about people who were found–or at least, thought they were.

7. Jesus wasn’t impressed with the Temple.

8. Jesus was not a person who was focused on the family. He said, “Those who love only their family are no better than the heathen.”

9. Jesus bravely died on the cross but made it clear that the person who betrayed him was the Son of Hell. Certainly not a letter of recommendation for Judas.

10. Jesus made his gospel about love and challenged those who trivialized it to seek a deeper understanding of the word and its potential.

There’s only one thing I know for sure–if all these denominations came face-to-face with Jesus, there would be 353 disappointed board meetings.

Jesus didn’t come to make everybody happy. He came to get us to feel and think. That usually, for a brief season … makes everyone a little uncomfortable.

 

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Anathema

dictionary with letter A

Anathema: (n) something or someone which one vehemently dislikes.

I wonder if that’s what’s necessary? I mean, I’m curious if there is a requirement for a certain amount of vehemence, anger, intensity and frustration to well up in the human soul before we actually decide to change anything.

Let’s take the old-fashioned word repentance.

It’s not old-fashioned because it’s out-dated. but like many valuable words, it’s lost some of the frequency of use because it’s not quite as pleasant to current thinking.

But I’m not sure repentance is possible until we become totally disgusted with where we are. In other words:

  • Will racism ever leave our world until it becomes anathema to our lives and even our breathing?
  • Can I lose weight without, in some way, shape or form, despising my way, shape and form?
  • Do we ever become free of our addictions until we nearly literally vomit them from our existence?

Are there really only two gears in the human vehicle–drive and reverse?

I don’t know.

But without anger and protests, most wars tend to go on indefinitely. Without some teaching of abstinence, promiscuity, disease and unwanted pregnancy begin to creep into society.

And without constantly reminding ourselves of our ancestors owning people as slaves, we just might forget to think about how we’re enslaving people today.

What is an anathema?

It is whatever we decide to do that takes away the power of other folks to do what they decide.

Yes, I guess that’s worth a few minutes … of uncomfortable reflection.

 

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