Internet Cafe

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Kid

The Internet is thrilled to welcome Gery Vandenhaak back to the Cafe!

Half his head is shaven. The middle part is green and the right side
bright orange. He is clean, very clean. His red jeans are ripped, to show
his boxer shorts. His torn T-shirt is white and clean. Lots of piercings;
huge earlobe holes, like some African tribesman. Have not seen that since

He is talking to a crying old Native man. I see him going to the coffee
counter and returning with a coffee and a bun and giving it to the Native
man. That was the last I saw of him that day.

Two weeks later he wandered into the kitchen while Sue and I were trying
to figure out how to feed about 80 people on 30 eggs and 72 buns. First we
decided the staff would not eat that day, so no worries as to sticking to
my diet plan. Someone brought in a hot apple strudel, six inches by
twelve. We looked at it and just laughed.

He stood in the doorway as we boiled the eggs - very small eggs, not meant
for sale and therefore donated to the shelter. He got in my way as I was
peeling the eggs. Suddenly he found himself with a spoon and knife in his
hand. "Cut the eggs right through the middle and scoop out the egg, dump
it in the green bowl" The old lady, me, had spoken.

He looked at me funny and went to work. One of the guys ran out
and got a jar of Mayo. In no time at all, we had egg salad on the buns and
got the kid to bring out the trays to the hungry.

When all the buns were gone and the apple strudel still on the counter,
the kid got busy. He ran to the back freezer and came back with – two half full pails, chocolate and strawberry.
It was just the two of us in the kitchen. He found the styrofoam soup bowls and had the
plastic spoons. We divided the strudel in some 60 pieces and added two
kinds of ice cream. When he carried the first tray out, he was greeted
with a shout of "DESERT!" Sue came back and took the second tray.

Again it was just the two of us working together. When everything was
gone, he suddenly said: "The way I live I have about 10 to 15 years to
live." "So do I,” I informed him dryly. He glanced up at me with a stunned
look on his face.

"I had fun," he said. "Got drunk everyday, that's why I am here. Community
service. Can't wait to get back to drinking."

"First time?" I asked him.

"No, the second and the last time," he said.

I agreed and told him that the third time would probably be jail and even
more fun.

He asked, "Well did you have a fun life?"

"Sure did and no splitting headache in the morning. Besides that I can
even remember the fun I had." I asked him if he’d ever played in a band,
toured Europe by motorbike or traveled all over the world. I told him that
I completely understood that going to a bar and spending the evening
drinking and then staggering around with a splitting headache was, of
course, much more fun. But at least I had fun for more years than he had

We cleaned the kitchen, no longer talking. Before he left, he told me he
had six more hours to serve and probably would not see me again. I agreed
with him and told him I realized that it would be jail for him. He left
but came back a little while later. "Look,” he said, “if I ever want to be
told off, can I look you up?”

"Sure, be glad to,” I replied. We grinned and shook hands! So now there is
another kid in my prayers and I do not even know his name.

In Him,

Gery Vandenhaak’s take on the second greatest commandment has her
preparing meals for the hungry – and scolding scamps – at an homeless

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Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Amazing story! Thank you.

February 20, 2009 at 5:28 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome, sweet blessings to you dear.

February 20, 2009 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Isn't it amazing how we can look at young kids today and think back when we were that age how grown ups would try to steer us on the right path,sometimes we would listen and then there were times we didn't,now we are those grown ups

February 20, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

What a powerful story. The ending reveals God's Truth that we can make a difference in anyone's life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Much to think on.

February 20, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

that was a great story...and maybe he listened..

February 20, 2009 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing this.

February 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Awesome story!
God bless you both* ;)

February 21, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous maxine said...

enjoy your story. I work at our local high school and I too see some kids like you describe. You know you are not supposed to pray at school, but that can't stop me from sliently praying for these kids. I work in the lunchroom so I only see them once a day and most of them I don't know there names. But I stay pray for them when God leads me too. Some day maybe one will tell me thank you. Until, God leads me in onther direction, I'll pray for my kids.

February 21, 2009 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for reading and liking my story.
And Maxine, just keep on praying.


February 22, 2009 at 1:18 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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