Early morning in Gold Beach and I’m drinking drip coffee in a Christian coffee shop. Christian music. Inspirational literature, posters and bookmarks. A table of old timer Trumpians railing against liberal heathenism. A group of teenagers reading Bibles around a table. School across the street starts in half an hour and I wonder if the Scriptures will provide any comfort to any of them to survive a typical Monday attending an American high school. They read the Bible, yawn, scroll on their phones. It looks like one dude is leading them in prayer, a future rural pastor no doubt.
Earlier I was in my church, the beach at the ocean’s edge, near the south jetty on the Rogue River. The waves were surfer perfect but there were no surfers. Five harbor seals bobbed in the surf. Someone slept inside a battered van with California plates. An old timer and his dog watched the horizon from a pickup truck. The remains of a bonfire smoked southward. My fort from two days ago still stood and I fortified it with a few new spars. A raven put in appearance. I walked on and on and paid a visit to the fisherman’s memorial. I read a plaque dedicating the dilapidated structure to God. It was on public property and probably unconstitutional but that didn’t bother me. Let those who seek comfort in God at the ocean’s edge to mourn the loss of those lost at sea,do as they please. I see only cliche and emptiness in that comfort, but perhaps those believers scoff at the sight of a man building a driftwood fort on the beach dawn because they can’t recognize different types of spirituality. They want the same one for everyone and the same holy laws.
I notice a homeless man with a wooden staff drinking coffee. He’s charging a phone as he scrolls it.
I watch the youth group. I’d give anything if they were reading passages from the New or Old Testament. If they asked this former preacher’s kid for a recommendation, I’d say the tale of Jonah. You can’t ever go wrong with that classic. Don’t run away from responsibility. Run into it!
The homeless man phone rings. It’s so loud. He takes the call. The Trump table is talking about baptisms.
I stock my secular books in the Christian book swap library. Maybe someone will read something in them and start thinking instead of parroting. Or they won’t a read a word because they’ve got it all figured out.