My lovely Bride had a hankerin’ for some designer java one morning, so I obliged her by running to the local coffee shop and picking up her fave. I didn’t want to make any mistakes, so I handed her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to write it down for me. She did so, and I was on my way with her written request—tall, skim, pumpkin spice latte without whip.
When I arrived at the brew center, the fifteen people behind the counter (possibly a slight exaggeration) were busy yucking it up and talking with one another. I stood there silently (and a bit impatiently) as they ignored me. Finally, one young gal realized I had been waiting a while and asked if I had been helped. I simply shook my head, no, and another youthful lady, who noticed what was going on, stepped up to the register and asked for my order.
Since I had the paper with my spouse’s request in my hand, I held it up in front of the barista’s face. She took it, read it, and told me the price. I inserted my credit card into the little money-sucking machine, and she began to complete my order.
The Moment of Truth
Then, the moment of truth arrived. This was the point at which the barista was to ask for my name so it could be written on the paper cup. As she asked, she handed back my wife’s note with a pen and asked, “What’s your name?” I smiled to myself because, up to that point, I hadn’t uttered a word since entering the tiny establishment. She obviously thought I was mute. You should have seen the look of surprise on her face when I uttered the word, “Dave.”
There’s an old saying that goes, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” This young woman was assuming a lot based on my quietude over a few seconds. There was no ass in this situation (although I’ve been called one often), but I’m guessing she may have felt like one. It was merely funny to me. I actually enjoyed the moment. When you get to my age, you have to take your little pleasures wherever you can find them.
The Real Ass
The real “ass” of history is probably Judas Iscariot. Popular opinion postulates that he assumed he could force Jesus’ hand if he turned his Lord over to the authorities. He may have assumed that Jesus, if backed into a corner, would rise up and lead a revolt against Rome. If that was the case, how wrong he was. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see the surprise on his face when none of that took place.
I guess we’re all going to assume things at one time or another. It seems to be a part of the human condition. Just remember, however, not to hand me a pen when I’m quiet. I may write a lot, but I don’t say much.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]