Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jesus at the Cafe Part III - John's and Jake's Assignments

Above is Juan Gris' painting Man in the Cafe

(Jesus turns and looks at Jake)

Jesus: “Jake, you seem rather quiet. Are you still upset that I didn’t know you?”

(Jake just stares at Him)

Jesus: “Okay, here’s an assignment for you.”

(Jesus gathers two napkins on the table and shoves them in Jake’s direction)

Jesus: “You’ve got a pen right?”

(Jake nods)

Jesus: “Okay, write out for me all the things you’ve done for me over the years.”

(Jake looks perplexed for a moment then takes his pen out of his shirt pocket and starts writing. About that time Maria returns with a large plate of waffles with vanilla ice cream on top and sits them in front of Lacey)

Jesus: “Thanks Maria. Now one more thing before you go. Would you please bring me a large pan from the kitchen fill with warm water. A clean wash cloth would be nice . . . oh and a dry towel.”

Maria: (Looking confused) “You want a pan of water? Do you have a dog?” (she looks under the table.)

Jesus: “No dog . . . just need a pan. But wait a second.”

(He turns and looks at John)

Jesus: “John, hand me your billfold.”

(John reaches slowly, like he’s really confused, and pulls out his billfold and slowly hands it to Jesus. Jesus opens it up and pulls out all the paper bills in the bill section and starts to hand them to Maria. John grabs his hand.)

John: “What the heck you doing? You can’t give her my money. There’s almost five hundred dollars in there.”

(Jesus struggles and pulls his hand away from John’ grip and hands the money to Maria and winks)

Jesus: “Maria this is your tip for the waffles and the pan.”

John’s Id: What the hell is He doing with my money? This really frustrates me. I should have never hung out with this bunch of losers.

John: (after Maria walks away with his money) “This is so unfair! You’re not grabbing anyone else’s money. This breakfast has cost me seven hundred dollars now and it’s starting to piss me off!”

Jesus: (Looking at John kindly) “Unfair? Let me see. Maria here, well, she was brought to the US illegally when she was four. Her family paid an 'escort' their life savings for the trip. Their escort took their money and dropped them in the middle of the Arizona desert . . . and it was August. Maria’s mother died from dehydration over the subsequent 30 hours.

Maria’s father was a migrant worker and they traveled throughout California and up through the northwest. Usually three or four families were crammed into a broken down, two bedroom trailer. When she was sixteen, her father married her off because he couldn’t support her anymore.

Maria’s husband, besides giving her four children quickly, was a drunk. He beat her without mercy. She was finally able to get away from him when he was arrested.

Now Maria is raising her four children alone, working for minimal wage, about sixty hours a week. She still earns only about twenty five thousand dollars a year.

Then I look at your life John. You’re a single child of a lawyer couple. You had every thing you ever wanted. You parents paid your way to go to the best private schools. They paid your way to go to Berkley. Didn’t they give you a BMW at graduation?

Your dad arranged for you to get your first job. Now you earn over $250K a year and you too have one child. You have over 1 million dollars in your 401 K retirement account.

So tell me John, What’s not fair?”

John: “But Jesus, this is MY money and you have not right to give it away to others. I give my tithe to the church.”

Jesus: “Well, let me think for a minute. If you mean by tithe, 10% of your income, then I think you are mistaken. You give 3%, after taxes . . . 2% before taxes.”

John: “Hey go back to our old church. My wife and I purchased four oak pews. They weren’t cheap! I think they were a grand each!”

Jesus: “Hmm. I think there’s a brass plaque on the end of each pew with your and your wife’s name on it too . . . right? So you’ve gotten the credit you were looking for.”

John: “You know folks. I have never been so insulted as I have this morning. I won’t be back to this breakfast and I won’t be back to your church.”

Lacey's Id: Oh, no. Were going to loose John and he and his wife were going to be such good donors. I think Jesus went too far.

Jesus: “John, you weren’t coming back to their church anyway. You, as a cooperate lawyer, only use churches to find more clients. Haven’t you already realized that there’s not enough business men and women at this church anyway? I mean, you have already figured out that it isn’t worth your time.”

(John stands up, picks up his billfold off the table.)

Jesus: “John, before you go, I want to give you your assignment.”

(John looks down at Jesus with an angry look . . . but he listens)

Jesus: “John, I want you to cash out your 401 K and give the entire 1 million dollars (plus a few thousand) to Maria’s church.”

John: “You’re out of you’re freaken mind!” (Then he storms out of the café).

Jesus: (looking around at the group) You folks keep thinking I’m insane. Now isn’t that curious.” (Jesus smiles) “You know a son of mine, Jim, said once, ‘He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to gain what he can not loose.’ He was a smart guy.”

Jake’s Id: That proves it to me that this man is a fraud. Jesus would never have someone give money to the Catholic Church!


Trevor Morgan said...

Thanks - I've been enjoying this story. Keep it coming!

MJ said...

Thanks. I hope to finish the story in 2-3 more postings. It started to take a life of its own.