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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Corner Booth

George is getting too old to run the Lucky Nickel. He took over the business at the ripe old age of 25. In the intervening decades, George's hair has turned gray, his wife has passed on, and his two children graduated from college. Each of the children found a life mate and got married. Then some grandkids came along. At 69, it is time for George to spend a few years seeing the grandkids get older, do a lot of fishing in Silver Pond, and spend a lot of time watching ESPN. George has decided to sell the business, but since times are getting worse than difficult, he thinks he will just have to turn over the business to a good prospect and hope the new owner has enough profit left to pay George a little for the opportunity of owning and running the Lucky Nickel.

George ran an ad under business for sale in the paper but George only got one response. The guy who called about the ad has come into the Nickel. The guy is a pretty serious type but he is too young in George's mind because the guy is only 24. The guy's name is Rudy and Rudy has a lot of work experience in restaurants even for his young age. George explains everything to Rudy. George goes into the history of the Nickel, about how the Nickel has been there since before the Great Depression. What George has not told is about the corner booth.

This is where we join George and Rudy in their conversation about Rudy taking over the business.

George: Rudy, there is hardly any business any more. The factories in the area are all gone and I only get a few regulars from the neighborhood nowadays and a lot of strangers. The business has been on the downturn for years. Yet, somehow I always have enough in the bank at the end of the month. Somehow, money just seems to appear in the account. You might think I am crazy for saying this but money appears out of thin air and so does inventory. I order a few things but I never seem to run out of anything. I cannot explain it. We have a big crowd of locals come in on Wednesday night. They are not tippers. But at the end of the evening, I make more money than I would have if everybody had been a big tipper. The menu has always been the same which all the customers like. I have second generation cooks. The parents of the present cooks worked here. Three or four years ago, the older cooks both retired and their children came in and started cooking. I must tell you, there is something very special about the Lucky Nickel. Sometimes things happen no one can explain.

Rudy: I kind of figured that was the case. When I saw the ad in the paper, I was immediately drawn here. I cannot explain why.

George: Rudy, there is something I must tell you and this may shock you. You see the corner booth over there?

Rudy: Sure. There is a glass of water on the table.

George: Well, I want you to go out into the kitchen and look through the opening in the swinging doors in the kitchen and look at the corner booth here in the dining area. Then come back in here and tell me what you see.

Rudy: OK

(Rudy goes into the kitchen, looks back out into the dining room at the corner booth. Rudy opens the kitchen doors a few times, sticks his head out into the dining room a few times, steps back into the kitchen, and looks back through the opening in the doors a few times. This goes on for about ten minutes. Rudy comes back into the dining room and sits down but is a little pale.)

Rudy: Uh, well, uh, uh. Whoa! OK, I saw a guy sitting in the corner booth when I was standing in the kitchen. But when I was in the dining room, uh, the guy, uh, disappeared. What in the world is going on here?

George: He is not a ghost.

Rudy: Well, I do not see him now but from the kitchen I could see him. What is going on?

George: When I first bought the place, I noticed no one ever sat in the corner booth. Even when the place would be packed, no one ever sat in the corner booth, ever. This went on for about five years after I took over. Of course, that was decades ago. Anyway, a woman and her little girl came in and I knew the little girl was sick and dieing. My wife knew the family. Well, the little girl runs over to the corner booth and then I saw him appear out of nowhere. Nobody else saw him but the little girl saw him and I did too. The little girl's mom tried to get the girl to move over to another table and the little girl refused. The little girl said she wanted to sit next to Felix. Of course, I am in shock because at that point I am thinking Felix is a ghost and the place is haunted. Well, the little girl sat there next to Felix for a few minutes and all of a sudden there was a cloud of light or a light cloud falling down over this little girl. The cloud stayed there for a few minutes and then disappeared. After the cloud of light disappeared, the little girl moved over to her mom's table. A few days later my wife comes in here all atwitter about the little girl. It seems the little girl was not just better, but the sickness was gone.

Rudy: Whoa. So this guy in the corner booth is what, an angel?

George: Well, maybe. For sure, he is not a ghost. I can see him all the time now. He is in the booth when I open up in the morning and he is in the booth when I leave at night. I leave him alone. Sometimes he is either gone from the booth or he has gone invisible, or something. I think Felix goes out on errands or something. I don't really know why he is here and not here. Felix does not talk. He does not eat. He does not age. He is the same now as he was when I first saw him over forty years ago. Felix does not talk but he listens. When I know someone who is in some kind of trouble, I go over to the corner booth and tell Felix about the situation. Sometimes, but not always, the situation gets better for no apparent reason. Felix is always dressed the same. He has been dressed in the same clothing for as long as I remember. I have never seen him get up and move around. He is always sitting in the corner booth with a glass of water on the table. He has never taken a sip of the water. I have gotten used to having him here. Although he does not talk to me, I talk to him. In a weird sort of way, we have become friends. I have seen other people who are sick or in some kind of need come in here, go over to the corner booth, and the light thing happens. Another weird thing is clocks in the Lucky Nickel do not work. There used to be a joke about it and when people would want to know what time it is, I used to just say it is no time…no time to be foolin' around.

Rudy: The guy is an angel isn't he?

George: Yeah, I think he is. For years I did not know, but to see all the good things happen for so many people…yeah, Felix has to be an angel.

Rudy: How did the place get the name The Lucky Nickel?

George: From what I have seen and been told by the old timers when I first took over, it seems that people find what they call a "lucky nickel" on the table at the corner booth. I have seen with my own eyes people pick something up off the table in the corner booth when there was nothing to pick up. Then people hold up a nickel and they invariably have good things happen to them later on. It is just my opinion but I think Felix hands out "lucky nickels" to people who need something special in their life. There is something else that goes on here. Rudy, I was never a religious man. My home life when I was a boy was not religious. I never went to church. Never wanted anything to do with church. But from the time I first saw Felix, things began to change in my spiritual life. I go to church occasionally with my children. Of course they are grown now, but I raised them to be more or less spiritual people. In church, the preacher talks about people receiving a blessing. Well, at the Lucky Nickel, people get all kinds of blessings.

Rudy: George, I am going to tell you something I have never told anyone before. George, I have felt God calling me to the ministry since I was an early teenager. When I saw your ad, I felt the touch of God in a powerful way. When I saw the ad, I had no idea you had a place with an angel sitting in the corner booth.

George: I know little about God. What I do know is God works in strange ways. My grandmother used to say "The Lord's ways are mysterious, His wonders to perform."

Rudy: George, do you see Felix looking at me.

George: Yes I do. Felix is looking at you and giving you the thumbs up sign. I have never seen Felix do that before. It looks to me like you are going to take over the Lucky Nickel.

Ephesians 4:11-13 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (NIV)

The story first appeared in June, 2008, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 The article is fiction. Any resemblance of the characters in this story to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

 

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Rev. Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018