It’s hot today. I’m sitting outside of Spider House, waiting for a friend and thought I would share the moment with you, because it’s a moment.
The courtyard at Spider House is unique. Tiled and full of old lawn furniture and picnic tables. There is statuary and greenery but everything is thrown together, like the place was designed by a garage sale artist. The the huge tree, (elm?) that stands sentinel over this area sports bamboo wind chimes and Christmas lights nonchalantly, as if they were his natural fruit. Just as the young student, finishing his breakfast and smoking his cigarette is reading Steinbeck, like it was as natural as the summer heat; like everyone reads Steinbeck.
There is an older guy close by with a long gray ponytail, scratching his way through the classifieds, obviously, despondently, seeking a few dollars of employment. There is a dog. Well, it is Austin!
There are lovers of various types, deeply involved in their own worlds. There are people just…..here…..waiting for something. And many humming computers with pilots flying them through work and waste. And there is one more thing…….
God is here.
In this jumbled mess of life and liberty; between the smiling lovers and the furrowed speakers; between the courtyard and the porch; between the porch and the caffeine altar. In all this beautiful, thrown together, beauty is God. He makes this space holy, and I find His holiness within this moment.
To my left is a bird bath with a broken statue in it. The statue used to be a ship’s pilot, standing by the wheel of his vessel. Now the wheel is broken and the pilot’s head is missing. So often does life make us feel this, that I have no direction, or vision, or even a head to turn and look and think. But here, in this holiness, he still stands tall, he remains a thing of beauty in this jumble, who stands with dignity, grasping the ruined wheel, saved by grace and waiting for full restoration. Yes, there is no doubt, God is here.
He creates and breaks and recreates. He rescues, redeems and restores. By His blood, he collects all of us broken, cast-off, castaways in the garden of His delight and makes us beautiful peoples, statues, trees, lights, lovers, searchers, readers, wasters, waiters, all of us.
This is a holy place if you can see it.
Spider House, cafe, bar, coffee house:
God is here.