Okay, I have a full, intense addiction to coffee. It is my comfort food. While I do not need it to get going in the morning, I know when I have not had any. Since being pregnant and nursing my last child, my preference continues to be half-caffeine. Full octane gets me jittery. However, there is just something about it! (My husband will be the first to comment that I somehow always spill either coffee or ground beans, or both.)
Coffee runs in the family. Runs in the blood.
Along with the Finnish genes that display in my appearance and tendencies, drinking coffee is just natural to me. Not far from my coffee maker is the metal and glass percolator my grandmother used and the coffee grinder passed down from the Upper Peninsula family farm which still contains some ground beans!
Yet as an addiction, I realize it is also not something I really need. So, I try to make it at home instead of buying it at the coffee shop. I even take the thermal pot with me in the car. However, I still find myself seeking out a nice coffee shop for some personal quiet time to work or meet with friends.
Just this past week, I found myself at Caribou twice. Different days and different locations. And while I may try to mind my own business, sometimes I choose not to.
The first time, I was able to sit outside, having an extra half-hour to use before a visit. At one table was a man fully plugged into his work. On the other side, were two slightly older than middle age men, one advising the other on business matters. Not knowing anything of what they were talking about, I could easily tune out the conversation, even though it wasn’t a quiet one. Yet, soon I was listening again. The one man was describing his recent experience as an adult leader on a teen mission trip. He explained how it was amazing for the kids, but also for him. Then they were both talking about their experiences on retreats.
The second time, I was a bit early to meet with a friend. Again, sitting outside (our weather has been nice lately!), I could not stop listening to the conversation between the two women at the next table. The one was sharing her experience of transformation. At first I was not sure what it was about, but soon it was evident that they both were recovering alcoholics.
While I did not say anything to the men (they left before I did), I did end up thanking the women for sharing their experience in a public place as it was encouraging to others.
I often wonder when I have conversations with someone in a public place (or a senior residence/rehab), what the eavesdroppers are thinking. I’ve had some strange stares at times, while others have given “oops you caught me” smiles. Yet I know that God may be working through these overheard discussions.
Now with blogs and other sharing websites, we get sneak peeks into the lives of others. We can be encouraged and comforted when hearing how God is working in someone else’s life.
I don’t know those four people. Our paths will probably cross again, but we will not recognize each other. Yet, their stories are now part of mine. We need to not be afraid to share our story, as someone else may be nearby who needs to hear it.
God, give us strength to testify to Your Glory. If we are uncomfortable or unsure, help us remember that hearing how You work in our life may benefit someone else on their journey. Use our voice and our experience to do Your Work. Amen.