I am a person that many times enjoys watching people in public places. I enjoy observing the different types of people who come and go. I enjoy trying to determine in my mind where they may be coming from and where they may be heading. I look for clues that may be found in how they are dressed, the pace of their movement, alone or with others, facial expressions, and any other aspects of their behavior that might be informative. Who knows how accurate I am with my conclusions but it is a fun mental exercise at the least.
Today is one of my “professional” days. (Not that I am not professional most days but I am given one day each month to get out of the office and explore and vision. This is what has become referred to as “professional” days.) So like I often do on these days, I decided to come to Starbucks for coffee and a chance to read and ponder. So my people watching so far today has been the various customers that have come in and out of this Starbucks. It has been a joy to not only get to observe but to overhear some conversations.
One of my discoveries this morning has been that Christians really love coffee. I know that is a huge generalization but I am just making the statement due to many conversations that I have heard this morning. One conversation was between two women and the ministries that they are involved with in their churches. Another conversation was between a young pastor and a young lady. The pastor was helping the young lady explore what are her goals for her life. Another couple were discussing a book about Christianity that they have been reading.
These conversations seem exciting to me. I think part of the reason is that they are happening outside of a church building. They are in the midst of every day experiences like sharing a cup of coffee. They are in the public. None of them intruded on anyone else’s life but if others were overhearing the conversations, maybe they have been exposed to different ways of living out faith.
I believe this is an important aspect of Christian life that has been missing. Too many of us have put our faith life in a box that is only opened for an hour or two on Sunday morning. Still others who have chosen to take their faith life out of the box in a location other than a church building have taken out a sledgehammer. They have tried to beat unsuspecting strangers over the head with their faith. Neither of these approaches have had any positive impact on inviting others to an encounter with Jesus Christ.
I feel that more Christians should enjoy coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and conversation with each other. I feel that part of that conversation should be a sharing of what is going on in their spiritual journey as well as all the other busy aspects of their lives. Maybe if more Christians deliberately did this, non-Christians may have a much different perspective of what a faith in Jesus Christ looks like. Maybe instead of being viewed as “holy rollers,” we would be viewed as ordinary people with ordinary lives. Maybe instead of being viewed as having “the answer,” we may be seen as people on a journey of searching for answers and guided by the Spirit in that search.
What do you think?