‘All kinds of people there with plenty to say’

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It’s a diverse crowd at Johnny’s Cafe with plenty to say, they just don’t always get a chance to say it, or if they do, there’s no one to really listen. This is true of people everywhere. There are almost always more people with something to say than those who are interested in hearing what that might be.

Let’s face it: we are all needy. Even those who are shy and withdrawn would give their right arm for someone to show a real interest in what’s going on in their head. We were all created with the capacity for communication, because we are all in God’s image. To experience another person is to experience more of God. We need to learn that to engage another in conversation is to engage in something sacred, and true holiness can be found in the process.

Listening is unselfish. That’s why there always seem to be more people waiting to talk than those who are waiting to listen. We are all more selfish than not; we want people to care about what we have to say. But if we learn to think about listening as something sacred, we might be able to change that.

It starts with putting a significant value on what people have to say. Their words eventually provide a pathway to the soul, so we want to know about that path and be careful on it.

It is also true that listening is not passive. Listening involves being engaged, locked-in, locked-on, alert and awake to what is being said, and able to rephrase it to be sure you heard it right. Believe me, I’m speaking of what I know, but don’t do most of the time. If I ask someone to rephrase something, it’s not to clarify; it’s because I didn’t listen the first time. It takes a good deal of effort to do this right, but it will make a world of difference if you do. Listening is not easy.

People at Johnny’s have plenty to say; is anyone interested in listening?

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5 Responses to ‘All kinds of people there with plenty to say’

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Amen & as I’ve learned we all have two ears & one mouth for a reason. ❤

  2. Gary says:

    I’ve been thinking about asking this question or not. So I’ve moved to yes, ask it. John have you or have you thought about Patenting this “Johnny’s Café” concept?? Or does it go without saying, that sense we already heard it first from you that, it’s Hands Off ? I’m thinking a real brick and mortar thing that will replace the Starbucks and such. No revolving door, a come on in, sit and listen and talk venue. I understand that it could happen anywhere, it’s not the place, it the attitude. I’m just saying !! Thank you.

  3. jwfisch says:

    Well I love your thinking here. Could lead to an interesting discussion. The hurdle would be the kind of thing that le
    d to the guy who wanted to start a Christian coffeehouse to reach the world until he realized the world already had its own coffeehouse up the street and maybe he should just go there. If you’re really going to go to the world, it seems like it needs to be the world’s place to start with. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just couldn’t be labeled as a Christian place or the world most likely wouldn’t come. I’d love to hear some other comments. This could be a great discussion.

  4. John A Fagliano says:

    After I read this catch, but before I saw these comments I felt a little sad about how it’s true people need each other but technology has stifled conversation in the marketplace. The laptop and phone in the photo above says it all.

    So if “Johnny’s Cafe” should not be labeled Christian, how about labeling it a technology free zone. That might be a turn off to some. “Whaddya mean I can’t use my phone in there!” But to many others like myself who have grown weary of seeing people staring at their phones in public, they would be more than willing to keep their phones silent and in their pockets while they visit Johnny’s Cafe. A place that welcomes and even encourages friendly people to engage one another in conversation could attract a lot of folks. Sooner or later, the topic of God could come up and the doors for sharing the gospel are swung wide open. Even if that doesn’t happen, a place where people can get to talk and listen to others will brighten everyone’s spirits and make them want to return. As you said, holiness is found in the process.

  5. In the Burt Bacharach song, “What the World Needs Now is Love”, we hear:
    “…we don’t need another mountain
    There are oceans and rivers
    Enough to cross, enough to last
    Until the end of time…”

    “What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
    What the world needs now
    Is love, sweet love
    No, not just for some, just for everyone…”

    We don’t need another “Johnny’s Café” – at least in the brick-and-mortar sense.

    What we need to realize is that WE are all Johnny’s Café.
    We may be under construction but that doesn’t mean we can’t be open for business whether it’s dine-in, carry-out,or personal delivery.

    So, are our doors open and are we welcoming?
    Or, are we closed for the day?

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