Posted by: Mark Nielsen | March 29, 2009

My Cafe/Cathedral

SLOW DOWN: Look around with joy at God’s creation”

-So says the bumpersticker on the pickup parked outside the Crossroads Cafe, in the tiny rural town of Saxeville, Wisconsin. And it’s a good, semi-scriptural lectio divina for the day.

For today I am forgoing church (8:30, 10:30 Masses…or 4:30 Saturdays), in order to worship with and pray for another community: the acquaintances I have made here in town, a quarter-mile from my family’s lake house/hermitage.

In this cafe/church, the altar is a beautiful but highly functional owner-built, cherrywood-topped lunch counter, with four built-in stools. The owner/cook, Mike, acts as the alternately friendly and cranky priest, dispensing wisdom and my farmer’s omelette with equal talent. He’s my working class hero: a homesteader of a sort, scraping by with a local business, in an economy that presses more and more jobs closer in toward the cities. Our deacon for the day is his waitress Sarah: a locally-grown college student, recently married, with deep ties here in this county. Like many waitresses, she’s the grease that makes this little community of pancake eaters and coffee-clutching “regulars” run smoothly.

Unfortunately, the Old Testament lectionary reading for this morning in our coffeeshop church is from the book of Adam — as in Adam Sandler, my least-favorite megastar. It’s the movie “Happy Gilmore”, running on the television which is placed up high and to the left (“stage right” of the counter/altar). This position is exactly where a pulpit would have been in the old-style architecture of many high church Protestant traditions. Thankfully, the tv sound is turned down, so I only have to see the man-child Adam desecrate the holy game of golf and the great American tradition of slapstick. If I had to hear him as well, I’d be leaving.

Thankfully, the movie ends, but up next is a Hollywood gossip show. This means today’s New Testament reading is about Madonna — not the mother of our Lord, of course, but the other one. Ah, well…



  1. Ahhhh that Madonna. Never liked her. =P

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