Eric and I started this routine eight years ago when I was a new pastor and he was a new lay leader. We thought eating bacon together would be a great way to get to know each other. At the time, I did not have any good reason to say 6:30 in the MORNING is a little early for me. And so we became regulars at OPH.
Being regulars who open the place up has some advantages. You are assured that booth #3 is going to be open. Once we figured out that there is nothing better in the world at that time of day than two scrambled eggs cooked soft, bacon cooked soft, one piece of wheat toast and a bowl of berries… we could just say, “The Usual.”
By far the best thing about being a regular is getting to know the people at OPH. This is a picture of Clara and myself. Clara has been our server every Thursday morning for the last two years or so… She made sure I got a yellow mug this morning.
Our first server was Athena. Then came Renee, whose family was going to be the holy family for Christmas the year we had no babies at church but her son was not born until New Year’s or so. There was also Zach and Carlos and Lindsey and Jess and JT. When JT told us he was getting married I pointed to my chest with my coffee cup and said, “Free wedding.” He took me up on it. Although we have never met him face to face, our favorite person of them all is Javier, the guy who cooks our breakfast… it is perfect every time. Jake, the general manager of the place, has greeted us most days. There is a lot one could say about Jake; let’s just leave it at he is a spiffy dresser. I know I’m forgetting a few others, sorry.
The OPH family has made a significant contribution to our church. You see I’ve written most of these “memos” (this is the second to last one) just after breakfast. For a lot of years, I’d go over to what is now Pipers and find some peace and quiet, but it was these guys at OPH who put me in if not the right frame of mind, then at least a better mood.
Another thing I am grateful for is how Jake and Clara and the crew have sort of included Eric and me as a part of their OPH clan. It’s not like we’re a part of the immediate family; we’re more like second cousins that you get to spend a little time with, but thank God they go home after a short visit. We are not insiders; it’s just that when we walk in there and sit down at booth #3 most Thursdays, it is like when you walk into church and sit down in the place you always sit most Sundays. Eric and I feel at home…
That feeling of being at home at OPH is something for which I cannot fully express my gratitude.
Keep the Faith,