At 6’2” it’s hard to miss James because all the other people around us were shorter than me. At 5’9” it was also hard to have a conversation with him because my neck began to tighten and tire. Although I’ve shrunk a little, we’ve both been this height since Jr. High. He had a Labradoodle, one of the original breeds. His name was Massimo who was more than eager to meet my dog Cali.
Like me, you’re about to discover James keeps his answers short and to the point. For example, James told me he likes the idea of me meeting people, but in the same breath told me point blank “I’m not going to tell you anything personal.” At the very same time Massimo was getting a little “too personal” with my dog.
Here’s the thing, and I think I have said this before, I never ask for personal information or personal stories. Yet for some strange reason most of the people I have met this year have had no trouble sharing their deepest, darkest secrets with me. James was not one of them.
Turns out, he’s a chef. A chef! I told him I met a sushi chef two days ago – he was more impressed with the man’s qualifications than me meeting him. “Those guys have more training than a surgeon.” I did not get where James trained but he has worked as a chef in Miami, Florence and Naples (Italy), and Los Angeles.
While his mom taught him Italian, he quickly became fluent when he worked in Italy. He also speaks Spanish, English and Jersey Boy (I guess only because he's from the Jersey Shore). I thought it was interesting that he trained Massimo in “Span-talian.” I do not have any proof, but going by what I was seeing his dog try to do to my dog, I suspect Massimo fancies himself a Latin lover. Eventually, Cali had enough of his “intimate” and "mounting" nature, and eventually she snapped to make her point.
By this point James was also done talking and had to get to work. I felt like I didn’t get to know him like I wanted to. In fact, I wanted to ask him to give me some hints on what to fix for dinner. I have chicken breast and would like to do something different. But I digress. This isn’t about me, it’s about James.
Earlier in the day I was picking avocados off our tree and thought about how God is like an avocado. They take time to ripen. You could try to eat it fresh off the tree, but you wouldn’t really get the full effect of all its greatness. Most likely you will go away unsatisfied or may not try again. God is hard to understand at first too. But once you sit with God for a while the fruit will ripen before you know it and you will really enjoy the full goodness of God’s love and grace.
I like to think James is like an avocado. I have to look up to find him. And I will have to wait patiently until I see him again to get more information. Until now, I need a neck message.