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jesus the radical pastor | exploring the life and mission of the 1st century Jesus for our 21st century » Blog Archive » Good News in the Diner

Good News in the Diner


John W Frye

Jake leaned over the counter in the diner across the street from the hospital and breathed in the aroma of the hot, black coffee. He was tired from being with his daughter, Mandy, and her husband, Steve, all night. Mandy had complications with her pregnancy, went into premature labor and something caused trauma to the baby and he (little Jason) died in the womb. Mandy, devastated and drained and still in labor, will deliver a still born child. Steve is by her side. Jake needed some air and space to think.

Another man sat down on the stool next to Jake and placed a Bible on the counter. He ordered coffee, too. They sat there side by side in silence until the man said to Jake, “You look tired and kinda down, friend.”

“Guilty on both counts. I am tired and down,” Jake said. “My daughter just lost her first baby a few hours ago. I’m trying to sort it out. She was so thrilled to have little Jason. That’s his name.”

“Well, friend, even in the darkest hour, this is the day the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“You gotta be kidding me.”

The man looked confused as if Jake had slapped him.

“Well, no, I am not kidding. God is in control. The death of your daughter’s baby…”


“Yeah, Jason. It’s all part of God’s wonderful and beautiful plan. It all works out for his glory. We may not understand, but God does. He’s still on the throne.”

“Did I just hear you say ‘wonderful’ and ‘beautiful’ and ‘glory’ about my grandson’s death? What are you talking about? My daughter’s eyes are so swollen and red from crying over the death of her baby. She is a wreck. And you’re talking ‘beautiful’”?

“I am just telling you the truth. God’s ways are not our ways. But ‘God works all things together for good to them that love God…’. Do you love God?”

“No. Right now I hate God.”

“Ooooh, be careful, friend, that’s no way to respond to a sovereign, holy God. You need to submit to his plan even it you don’t like it.”

Jake took a sip of coffee and looked around the diner and then at the holy man next to him. The waitress behind the counter rolled her eyes at Jake. He slightly nodded in response. Am I in the twilight zone? he thought. The man was rambling on.

“And that’s how God works. He planned your grandson’s death before the foundation of the world…all for his glory.” Jake wanted to knock the man to the floor, but he just glared him.

“You see, God wanted your grandson in heaven more than he wanted him on earth. So, God just took him…”


“…Jason to heaven to make heaven a more beautiful place and to make you want to go there, too. Will you go to heaven when you die? Oh, God is so wise.”

 And you are a flaming idiot, Jake thought. He gulped the last of his coffee and gave the waitress some money. He got up and walked out.

He heard as the door closed behind him, “…and have a blessed day.” The waitress, in refilling the holy man’s cup, poured black coffee all over his Bible. By accident. Or was it planned before the foundation of the world?

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