A Cup of Coffee?

The other day I went to Starbuck’s to meet a young lady named “Holly”. We had arranged the meeting over the phone, so I told her I’d have a sparkly blue hat so she could find me.  I arrived and decided to secure seats since it was very crowded, then got a cup of coffee to sip while I waited for her to arrive.  While I was in line, the seat right next to the two I had claimed was taken by an older gentleman.  I got my coffee and sat down to think through the points I wanted to be sure to cover with Holly, but God and “Joe” had other plans for me.

I found out the the man’s name was “Joe” when he asked me for help with his oatmeal.  We struck up a conversation (sparkly blue hats tend to cause conversation); he told me how he was going to get a book for his friend, but he didn’t really know what it was about.  Then he told me that He didn’t really go in for all that “faith and religion garbage”.  That was a bit awkward since my Bible was sitting right next to me and I was planning to have a faith conversation with “Holly”.  “Joe” also needed help with his raisin packet.  He thanked me, but when I told him it wasn’t a big deal – that I helped people all the time at school – he threatened to knock me off my stool.  I side-stepped the comment and continued making small-talk while trying to smooth his now-ruffled feathers.

“Holly” came in and we located each other, then she grabbed a cup of coffee and a pastry.  We were trying to get to know each other and have a discussion about her faith; however, “Joe” had different ideas.  He actually physically inserted himself in the center of our conversation.  He wasn’t trying to join into the discussion we were having, rather he seemed to be lonely and just wanted to engage someone in dialog.  I was a bit nervous about where all of this might be going since he had already let me know that he was antagonistic toward anything faith-based and “Holly” was a new believer.  Thankfully, he didn’t get hostile; instead after a while he said it was nice talking with us and he hoped he would see me there again.

“Holly” asked if I knew him and who he was.  I had to tell her that I’d never seen him before, but he seemed lonely so I responded to his needs.  We finished the conversations we had been trying to have then gathered our things to leave.  As we were weaving our way through the crowd of people, I was once again confronted by an older gentleman.  This person stood up as I got close to his table and completely blocked the one path to the door.  When I got to where he was, he reached out and touched my arm to stop me.  Then he looked right into my eyes and said that he had been watching what I had done for that other man.  He thanked me for being compassionate and taking time for him.  Then he sat back down, leaving me quite speechless.

I had been unaware that anyone else was noticing the whole exchange between “Joe” and me, but someone was watching.  That’s the thing – someone is always watching.  Our actions are our testimony every day.  We need to be sure that we are living out what we want others to understand about Jesus, because for some people we will be the only reflection of Him they ever see.

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