Annabelle Halverson stopped in for her regular cup of Armenian coffee. “Add one of those cookies—the ma’amoul—this morning. I want to talk about that book.”
“Sure. You’re the customer.” Pete Malamis was the only other customer and he was hunched over his Mac.
“I’ve been praying it for years—what you call the Rabbi’s Prayer, what I call the Our Father—and I understand that whatever we call it isn’t as important as our actually praying it, but I never thought about the first part of the prayer the way you wrote about it. Who would think those simple words “thy will be done” would imply justice throughout the world? I mean that isn’t what I’ve heard all my life. I’ve heard about how we need to pay attention to God’s will for our lives, but it’s always seemed like a very personal thing. And now suddenly you’re telling me that God isn’t as concerned for how my personal life will turn out as God is concerned for the life of the world. For justice to exist in reality and not as a dream. Why haven’t I heard this before?”
“I don’t think what I wrote was that unusual. Many people seem to have a very narrow view of God’s will. They say, ‘What does God want me to do in life? What is God’s will for me?’ and they think about education or marriage and family and stop with those kinds of questions. God wants us to live fulfilled and happy lives, but that’s not just thee and me. It’s God’s desire for all people. Here’s your coffee and the ma’amoul. Enjoy!”
“But no one has talked about justice as part of that prayer. It’s not a word in it, but the way you wrote about God’s will and justice makes good sense. I like what you wrote. It’s just that no one has ever said anything like this to me before.”
“Hold on a minute. Pete Malamis wants another cup.”
I made another cup of Armenian coffee and delivered it to Pete.
“I been trying to get your attention a couple of minutes. What kind of talk are you and Annabelle having? Looks deep.”
“She’s asking about the book. Join us.”
“No, because then you’d know I haven’t read it.”
When I returned to the counter, Annabelle had finished her ma’amoul and coffee. “I need to go, but I want you to remember my question about why no one else has said anything.“
“OK, I’ll do that. You know that sometimes I can’t explain myself so how can I explain other people? Maybe it’s enough to be grateful that you heard a different perspective on the prayer. Thanks for stopping by.”