I believe there are certain places around us where we can escape and leave our routine behind. There is almost a definite need for us to be able to escape from our daily lives and routine and refresh ourselves. It could be a short travel to a nearby city, for some it may be further or it could be a local cafe. For me, it is coffee shops and bookstores. There is something about the atmosphere that overwhelms my heart. I enjoy just sitting back and watching people take time out of their busy lives to stand in a line that is not always that quick and indulge in a delicious, hand crafted beverage. Then walk away and begin their day that could be the best day of their life, the worst or perhaps just another day. People intrigue me because everyone has a story waiting to be told and I always have an urge to walk up to people and ask them what is your story and how have you gotten to where you are right now I love people, but I mostly love watching and observing them in a non creepy way.
I worked in about four different coffee shops over a five year period. I learned a lot about coffee and the true beauty of coffee shops. There is a sense of community of happiness and at times sadness depending on the people who walk in. One day, when I was working at a small, independent coffee shop, I was leaning over the counter just watching the few people who were enjoying their beverage and waiting for more customers to come in so I could happily serve them. There was a lady who walked in that I closely watched and could tell she was having one of those days. She sat down at a table and seemed to be waiting for another to join her. Sure enough a few minutes later another woman who looked like her day was going even worse than the other lady’s walked in. There are very distinct hugs that you can give or receive. Some are those awkward side hugs that I refuse to give anyone, some are big bear hugs which I insist on giving everyone and some are just simple but enjoyable hugs. When these two ladies met they embraced each other with such an intense love and emotion that I had ever seen. Immediately something touched my heart. It’s one of those moments where God lays something on your heart and you know you are not leaving until you do it. It was so clear and almost urgent. I knew one of those ladies was going through something incredibly hard and she was hurting. My shift was just about over and as I was leaving this little voice told me to go over there and give one of those lady’s a free drink card. How would that make her feel better? A free drink would not help whatever that lady was going through, but I knew I had to do it because I knew God was urging me to go over there.
As I was leaving I walked over to their table with a free drink card and told them both that I don’t know what is going on in your lives but the way you embraced each other I know one of you are going through something extremely hard so I wanted to give you this free drink card in hopes it will bring a little more happiness to your day. They both looked at me with jaws dropped and one of them just filled up with tears that could easily flood the coffee shop. She couldn’t speak but her friend told me that she wasn’t sure how I would sense this but (pointing to the other lady) her husband just died two days ago. My knees almost buckled beneath me. I simply just said I will be praying for you and please know there are people out there who are going to surround you in love. She nodded her head as tears were falling and whispered “thank you so much sweet girl” and I walked out.
Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?Francis Chan
I cried the whole way home and to this day I am not sure why. I think I was so overwhelmed with love for this lady and the thought that God was so clearly in my heart just speaking to me in this moment. When we take the time to simply sit back and acknowledge and observe people, we may touch them in ways that we couldn’t deem possible. We have to pay attention to the details in our lives or else we may see people come and go and not have a chance to love on them. When you get the chance to talk to a stranger or love on someone don’t you dare step back and let someone else move in. You have been given the ability to share your love with others, so do it. Everyone has a story, everyone has a past, and everyone is struggling in one way or another; pay attention and find that place in your life where you can step back, breathe and recharge so you don’t miss out on these opportunities.
Love. Be loved. Know love.