Currently I am in the middle of what appears like it’s going to be a long wait at the Apple store. If you‘ve ever been in one of these, you know it’s a crowded, bustling place about the size of half a gymnasium. There are three rows of long tables that stretch from one end of the store to the other. The tables close to the front of the store contain new products; the tables in the back are for people like me who are waiting for a technician or currently getting help from one. At the very back of the store is a long table that runs perpendicular to the others. This is what is called the “Genius Bar.” Behind that table sit the Apple geniuses, who are ready to share their expertise with you, if you have an appointment.
Well I had had a 4:20pm appointment for the Genius Bar of another store that turned out to not be an official Apple store; it was a huge computer center representing just about every brand you could think of, including Apple. But the Apple technicians at the service counter of this place (it was not a Genius Bar) turned out to not be geniuses. They sent me to a real Apple store which I, of course, thought I was at having made my appointment on the Apple web site.
I finally got to my local Apple store about two hours after my original appointment, and tried my story out on the guy scheduling the Genius Bar. Of course he told me there were no open appointments for three days. I showed him the printout I had made for my 4:20 “Genius Bar” appointment at another store, and insisted it was not my fault that the appointment I had made on their website and driven out of my way to go to, because I needed to get in today, was bogus, and that I would sit down right here, thank you, and wait for a genius if I had to wait all night. After bugging him two or three more times over the next hour and a half, he finally gave me a 9pm appointment. I mentioned that was closing time, and asked if it was his polite way of saying I should go home now, and he assured me I would see a genius if they had to stay over to accommodate me.
So here I am, and I am actually making something of this time by writing today’s Catch. This turns out to be an exceptional place to write. I’ve always liked writing surrounded by a lot of people — airports, coffee shops, Johnny’s Cafe. There’s something about the low-level buzz of humanity that is somewhat comforting. I feel a part of something. Of course, I am, although I try hard to separate myself from it. We want to be unique; we want to be our own person — to champion our own identity. All well and good, but we are also all connected in a way few of us realize.
When you walk into whatever is your “Johnny’s Cafe” where you meet the world, and you look at the people there, you are looking not at some foreign tribe of individuals as if they were from another planet; you are looking at yourself. We are all a part of each other — Christian or non-Christian — because we are all a part of God, made in His image, and loved by Him. We need to learn to see ourselves in those around us, and in doing so, we may be more able to follow the command of Christ to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
At 9:20pm, five hours after my original appointment, I walked out of the Apple store with my computer problem solved. It took two geniuses and a manager to do it, but it got done. I’m actually thinking that sometime when I’ve got a bad case of writer’s block, I just might sneak into an Apple store, plop down on one of the tables in the back and spend a few hours writing. I bet no one will even notice me. But I will notice everybody.