Out of the Dust (Part Two)
Stranger made his way to Petunia's Restaurant He just loved the sound of that name. There were three wooden steps up to the restaurant, as he stepped on the first board it was loose, moving slightly. He stopped and looked down at the steps and thought, I hope no one falls.
At the top of the steps he just stood there and looked around. It seemed like a peaceful town, not knowing that it wasn't as peaceful as he thought. Stranger opened the door to the restaurant. The hinges were rusty and it made the sound like a bird singing a song. He just stood there for a second looking at it, closing the door it made the same sound.
Stranger looked at a couple of the booths where people were sitting down and enjoying their breakfast. He made his way to the counter and sat on one of the stools. A grey haired woman passing by said, "What can I get you to drink?"
Stranger said, "I'll just have a coffee for starters, please." Stranger got his coffee and the older woman said, "Petunia will take your order in a minute."
The middle age women come out to take Stranger's order. Stranger thought to himself that Petunia was an amazingly beautiful woman. She was rather tall and slim. Her hair was shoulder length and a light blonde color. Stranger ordered eggs, bacon, white toast with strawberry jelly.
His order came out and as Petunia handed the order to him her sleeve moved up toward her elbow. He could see that her right hand and her arm about four inches above her wrist had been badly burned. He didn't say anything, but was wondering as he finished his breakfast. He sipped down his coffee and just as he finished Petunia came to ask him if he wanted another cup.
As she poured it, Stranger said to her, "how did you burn your hand and arm?"
She looked at him a little sheepishly like she didn't want to say anything. Finally she replied, "I was cooking something on the top of my stove. I was distracted and before I knew it the pot was slipping off of the stove and I grabbed for it. Stupid but my hand and arm were covered with hot grease. The pain was terrible. The doctor said that I would always have the skin looking the way it does now."
Stranger finished his second cup of coffee. Petunia came back to clear the dishes away. Stranger said, "Petunia, let me hold your hand."
"Why, what are you going to do?"
"Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you." For a minute she held her hand close to her body, finally deciding to give it to Stranger.
Stranger took Petunia's hand between the two of his. Immediately Petunia was feeling a warmth in her hand and radiating up her arm. Stranger was speaking words as he bowed his head. He moved his hands up Petunia's arm to the top of where it was burned. Petunia was feeling weak in her knees like she might fall over but she kept standing. For several minutes Stranger kept speaking, as he moved his hands back and forth from Petunia's hand up past the wrist.
It was the strangest feeling that Petunia ever felt in her life. She felt so warm and at peace like nothing could hurt her. She was at Stranger's total control. He had her mesmerized like she was in a trance. Finally Stranger looked up and took his hands away.
Petunia looked at her hand and arm, it looked like it had never been burned. It was back to normal. Her mouth opened in amazement and she got a huge smile on her face. "How did you do that?" she asked. "Are you Jesus? The way you look, the way you are dressed, you must be Jesus."
Stranger smiled and said to her, "No, I can assure you that I am not Jesus. I just have a gift and if I can help someone it is my duty to do so."
He got up and paid Petunia for the breakfast. He told her how delicious it was. "Will I see you again?" she asked.
"I think you will," as he opened the door to that same sound of the bird singing. He just had to smile as he stepped outside. Stranger wondered what the rest of the day had in store.