These past few months have kept me far busier than I want and have proven an obstacle to my writing. No more. I have decided I can take 15 minutes every now and then to share with you the amazing stories I see God writing around me, even in the midst of a busy work day. I hope that these stories can create a small space in your day to pause and commune with the Author of all our stories and in doing so, encourage us as a community.
Coffee, Conversations, and a Yearning Humanity
It’s standard practice for me to find a coffee shop, grab a drink, and sit at a table with my headphones on, listening to artists like James Blake and Kid Koala, or remixes by Antiserium/Mayhem and Callisto while I plug away at objectives that I believe will move the mission of Jesus forward. Today, as I hunched over my computer, it seemed like another day in the coffee office.
But then an older gentleman sat down at the extra chair at my table here at Starbucks while he was waiting for his drink and signaled that he was not going to be there long. Normally I would have smiled, nodded, and plugged back away at work because that’s just the way I prefer to do life.
But not this time.
This time I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me and I took my earphones off to ask him how he was doing. We chatted for less than five minutes. He had just finished his dialysis treatment (goes three times a week). He was on his way home to fall asleep in his chair, a normative practice for him after dialysis, but had stopped at Starbucks for his son to get a drink because his son’s car was in the garage (shop).
He had four sons, all grown and out of the house. I asked him for words of wisdom on how to raise a boy, since I have an 11-month old son. He looked down while he shook his head, putting his hand up as if to say, “I have none.” After a minute, though, he started sharing his thoughts with me as he kept his eyes closed.
“That’s a good age. Enjoy them. Enjoy them. Take them to the park. Let them run around. Play ball with them. I have four boys. After work, when I got home, they would come up to me and ask me to go play. I would take them to the park and we never played the same game. We would run around for about 30 minutes before I was tired. That’s a good age. Enjoy them.”
Then he said good-bye and got up to leave with his son. For reasons I don’t understand, that conversation affected my soul way deeper and moved me far more than I expected. I’m introspective, so I’ll be thinking about this conversation all day long. No doubt it will distract me from work at times. But this is what is striking to me already.
A Yearning Humanity
We are a yearning humanity. We yearn to engage with one another in a way that goes deeper than shallow “How are you?”s and “How about those Niners?” We yearn to come together in a way that allows us to reflect on the lives we’ve lived so far and share with each other those thoughts that mean something. We yearn to reminisce together, to live life together, to dream together. We are a yearning humanity.
Stop believing the lies that you hear saying that people don’t care to share their lives. Stop believing the deception that says asking anyone, a friend or a stranger, how they’re doing is invasive, thoughtless, unnecessary, or uncomfortable. Stop believing the fallacy that people don’t want to discuss spiritual things or personal things.
I fool myself into thinking that the mission of Jesus can only be moved forward by completing the objectives I have created for myself. The mission of Jesus will also be moved forward by the conversations I engage in every single day of my life. And in yours. The reason I can say this with confidence is because I have been shown that we are a yearning humanity. Begin to have conversations instead of just having coffee. Start seeing the stories that God is writing all around you and dare to draw yourself into them. Our King Jesus does not just meet us on the pages of the Scriptures in which He has revealed Himself. Our King Jesus is waiting to meet with us in the lives of the people who surround us every single day.
Let’s move the mission forward together.