The Coffee Shop Hop

Hey Siestas!

Oh my word. It seems like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve talked to you girls. I wish I had tons of stuff to catch you all up on but I really don’t because all I do is read. Well, I go to class as well, but mostly I read. And I coffee shop hop. And you are thinking to yourself, “What is coffee shop hopping?” Let me briefly explain this phenomenon, though those of you in school will doubtless know of what I speak. It goes like this: In the morning one spends two to three hours at coffee shop number one. In the afternoon one spends two to three hours at coffee shop number two. And if it is a really crazy day, one spends as many evening hours as needed at coffee shop number three. Now yesterday was a three stop coffee shop hop day. [Say that ten times fast.] I was feeling a little defeated before the day began with all I had to do but it ended up being a delightful day. In the end, I realized I had found sketches of beauty in my mundane schedule. It went something like this:

Stop number one: Early in the morning I was at a modest little breakfast place ironically called “Sweet Melissa’s” getting my sacred first cup of coffee for the day. Sitting right next to me was a guy about my age with his grandfather who was so clearly ecstatic about going out on the town for breakfast. You could see it all over his face and not to mention he was dressed for an outlandish soiree at Gatsby’s mansion. As I gazed down at my book I pondered their sweet conversation. It didn’t take long for tears to well up in my eyes and make their way on to my page because I knew in my heart that this brief breakfast hour was the hour that one bow tie-clad man had been looking forward to all week long.

Stop number two: Mid-afternoon I made my way to San Francisco coffee and I noticed a Mom in her mid-thirties sitting at a table with her six-year-old son; she with coffee in hand and he with hot chocolate. I was amazed by their whole conversation. She was asking him all about his day at school. Questions about his new teacher and the students in his class. At times he would talk too loudly, stutter, or mispronounce various words but she never interrupted him or corrected him. Not even once. She just listened to him. Didn’t even look up from him or care about the rest of us in the room. They sat at that little table just talking and communicating for a solid hour. It was stunning. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. I don’t know why it hit me so hard but I thought to myself, “I want to be like her when I grow up. She’s just cool.”

Stop number three: My third and final stop was at Starbucks. What can I say? I save the best for last. I was sitting in the corner of the store where I could not really see anyone else except a long line of people in my side view. A few minutes into my study I heard the Barista announce, “Hey pretty lady! Sit down, sit down…I’ll bring you some coffee!” I was kind of annoyed with the Barista thinking to myself, “Since when do the Baristas at Starbucks wait on tables when there are ten people waiting in line for their coffee?” So, I turned around to see who this woman was who was getting all this special attention, and to my surprise she was at least ninety years old. Then I watched in awe as this twenty-year-old Barista with spiky black hair and more piercings than I could count walk away from his counter where he had at least ten beverages to make put his arms gently around this frail woman. About twenty minutes later I saw them say good-bye to one another with beaming smiles and genuine affection. These two folks had very little in common yet it was clear they had formed a unique friendship.

I know these seem like small and silly gestures but in a world where it feels like people are too busy to interact with one another, these little things speak volumes to me. Sometimes I ponder the evil in us and among us and I wonder in my heart how the Lord does not look down from His holy hill and utterly destroy us all. Do you ever think that? Maybe it’s just me. Well, anyway…the point here is that other times I watch folks open their hearts and love other people, even complete strangers, and I think to myself, “Maybe these are reasons He doesn’t.” I don’t know. What I do know is that these three seemingly mundane interactions deposited a dose of hope in my heart. I just sat there in my chair at the end of the day and sipped those moments like one sips a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte with extra Whipped Cream. And let me tell you, they warmed this cold and cynical soul of mine.

Can you remember a time when you were touched by a simple human interaction? It doesn’t have to be newsworthy.

Love Triumphs,


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