Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jesus in Starbucks

I spend a lot of time writing in coffee shops.  And I see my share of odd things in them.

For example, at a shop in a college town, I know I'm liable to see all sorts of fraternity/sorority rush weirdness.  Not long ago, I witnessed three college girls hopping over each other while saying "ribbit" while a fourth filmed them.

But today is one for the books.

I'm having a bad day with my knee.  I'm limping; I'm in pain; I'm using a cane.

I'm in a Starbucks in a Philadelphia suburb.  You often hear customers speaking Hebrew in here.  It's that kind of neighborhood - a suburb built by Jews in the 1950s, back when they were restricted from buying houses in other suburbs.

So the last thing I expected to encounter in here was a faith healer.

I'd just limped over to my table and fired up my computer when a young woman approached me.  Blond, fairly attractive.  She asked if she could sit down.  I said "sure."

Then she went into a speech about how Jesus spoke to her and told her to heal that man.  She asked where the pain was, then she asked if she could lay hands upon it and pray!

Despite being an atheist, I had two reasons for letting her do so:

1)  I'm a writer.  If you don't do odd things, what are you going to write about?

2)  Hey, I'm a guy.  If an attractive young woman wants to put her hands on my thighs, I have no objection.

So she did.  Having grown up Catholic, I'm disappointed by impromptu prayers in English.  I'd be more impressed if she prayed in Latin (or Hebrew, for that matter).  But she sounded sincere, and that's worth something.

When she was done, she asked me to stand and try my knee out.  I did.  No change.  She wasn't daunted - maybe it was God's will that me knee be healed later.  I wonder if she thought that Jesus was going to restore my knee to its youthful flexibility, or that God would install a titanium knee replacement.

I didn't ask her that, though.  I just gave her my favorite salutation from Hamlet:
Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.

She didn't understand.  Apparently her Jesus doesn't put a premium on a classical education.  I told her it was from Hamlet, and that she should look it up.

Just another day in Starbucklandia.

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