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rendezvous cafe

On Thursday nights, I work PreK aftercare. My life--it's glamorous, I know--but I do try not to brag about it too much.

Also on Thursday nights, Maggie works at Rendezvous Cafe. An old brick, straight black awning affair that I pass every Thursday on my way home.

Most days, Mags and I have some great and strange cosmic connection and today was no exception. In Snapping with each other today we realized we were both wearing the same sweatshirt. An Assumption Youth Group sweatshirt which has Assumption's logo emblazoned on the back and "150 years never looked so good" printed on the front. Things like this, they happen all the time.

Every time I pass this low-slung brick building on the way home from a long day, I think of how she would smile if I walked in. But...life ain't easy. And I just don't have the means to go out to eat or buy food out if I can possibly avoid it. So I don't.

Who knows? She could be busy. I could get her in trouble (doubtful). I don't know...there are a million reasons we let little bits of life pass us by, no? Today was no different than all days, except for one thing. Today, I was especially concious of time. The cooler days, the softer light, the northern breezes. They make me contemplative.

Plus, Mags is leaving tomorrow for a lacrosse tournament in Tucson, Arizona and she won't be back until Monday evening. So, on this sunny, fall day when the shadows are longer sooner, I was especially conscious of the arrangement of our next 5 days.

It's weird to just walk in and say hello, I thought, so many unknown variables. But I could just get a soda, right? Say hello while I was about my official business with the cafe?

So I turned the car around and began to retrace my driven steps. I turned into some church parking lot off Woodlawn Avenue and checked the small change compartment by the steering wheel. Inside was a bunch of change I knew would be there (and I am not above paying in quarters!), but I was surprised to see seven dollars squeezed in there as well.

As luck (and cosmic connection) would have it, the moment I turned around, my phone rang. It was Maggie, her bright voice telling me about someone she just saw at work.

I told her I was on my way and she sounded so, SO excited that I decided right then and there that--the hell with CASH!!--I'm using my debit card and getting some soup as well!

I have found over and over in life that if you do things for exactly the right reasons and take a leap of faith for the rest of it, that God's abundance returns to you. Even if only seven dollars worth of abundance.

Great fanfare greeted my arrival. Hugs and introductions. We have been there before, during the day, but the evening shift...these are her actual people.

"This is my mom, aren't we twinsies?!"
(We are not...but I will take the compliment just the same.)

"Mom! We have really good French Onion Soup," she said and I said I would love a cup of that and a soda to go.

More hugs. More conversation. I'm so happy to see her like this. In this place that she always dreamed would be her first job. And so happy that her dreams, meager though that they may be in the grand scheme, came to fruition for her.

Maggie ran off to get my order and the lady up front rang up my soup.
"Seven dollars and 65 cents," she said and I was pretty excited that the debit card could stay put after all. I smoothed out my crumpled up car bills and gave them to her along with 65 cents worth of loose change in my purse.

One of Will's favorite quotes, which has since become one of mine is from Jung: "Modern men cannot find God because they refuse to look low enough."

I have a hard time with God sometimes. I get mad. Feel abandoned. Feel confused by His direction. But all of that is in big stuff. Long trajectories. Journeys I can't see the end of. Stuff that I probably need to leave to Him anyway.

But then other times, in small times, I think God is in seven dollars in the car. In a phone call. In a perfect quote.
In a Cafe,
in deep fall,
in a town tucked away,
inside a community that you know by heart.

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