Do you ever have a day when you want to be with good friends and share a welcome cup of hot chocolate?
On this quiet November day, I started thinking again about a cafe dear to my heart. A few years ago, I published my first novel ‘Tea at Raphael’s.’
Here is a short resume:
Hello. My name is Mary Kindly.
Many years ago I was guided by new friends to open a café in the town of Starbridge, in the West Country. Situated in Dove Lane, a pretty, narrow street not more than twelve feet wide, the café was called Raphael’s and became a meeting place not just for those needing food and drink, though there was more than enough delicious food on offer, but for anyone seeking friendship and comfort.
With the help and divine intervention of my friends Gabriel and Raphael all things were possible at Raphael’s café. I soon learned not to fret about running a business that was entirely new to me for I found help and guidance at every turn. From the beautiful cook, Grace, who always left a trail of vanilla behind her, to the kind and helpful Michael and Ariel, we were a group like no other.
As the sun set each night, I would retire to my attic bedroom above the café and look out across the rooftops. Often I would see Gabriel’s figure looking out from his own window a few streets away and could sense rather than see, the serenity in his being.
As time passed, many people from all walks of life passed through the doors of Raphael’s. I like to think we played a part in the healing and rebuilding of some of the lives of the customers; sometimes the most difficult of days were helped by the simplest of actions: a free sandwich placed without fuss in front of someone we knew had fallen on hard times; an introduction to a new friend for someone looking lonely or a chance to help in the kitchen for someone in need of work.
Sometimes we would go out to help people in the community who were struggling and we met many new friends this way.
Time and time again we found that ‘Raphael’s seemed to provide a haven just when someone needed it.
Before long I realised that my friends Raphael and Gabriel and their band of helpers couldn’t stay with me forever; once they knew Raphael’s café was in safe hands they had to be on their way and carry on their work wherever they were needed. But as the cold, chill winds of winter blew down Dove Lane I felt bereft as my friends prepared to leave.
‘I suppose you can’t tell me where you are going?’ I asked Gabriel.
‘I can’t Mary, but I promise you, you will never be alone. I love you and my love will always be with you. Always have faith and believe in all that is good in the world.’
The day they left, the doves that were perched on the ledge outside my window looked down at me unperturbed.
As I looked up, I saw a large white feather float down and settle by my feet.
I hope you find a peaceful haven today.
‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for in doing so some have entertained Angels unawares.’ Hebrews 13:2
Blessings to you.
My book ‘Tea at Raphael’s is available at Amazon.co.uk