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Sitting in Caribou on a snowy night in Des Moines

February 14, 2009
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As the title says, I’m sitting in a Caribou Coffee right now. It snowed at least 5 inches today, and it is still coming down. I’ve been here for almost exactly one hour, and there are about 7 other people here right now. Interactions with two of them in particular have convicted me to write a little bit. So here goes.

Person #1

A young man, wearing jeans and a way-too-large hoodie. Seems to be in his 20’s. I look over at the table he’s at and I see two one gallon containers of water. There is also a large bin, with all sorts of weird stuff in it that I cant quite make out. He is going around to every customer in the place talking to them about the environment. About how we as humans are “slaughtering” the Earth. Apparently he’s trying to make gas out of water…or something like that. Hence the jugs of water and tub of stuff.

He’s getting in everyone’s business, and quite frankly, annoying them. Including myself. He is honestly just too much to handle. Spouting off about the environment and not allowing other opinion’s to resonate in his mind. He’s not giving other people their voice. Those of us here in Caribou are clearly uncomfortable with him. His style of interaction is turning people off.

Person #2

Middle-aged woman. Long curly hair, and little heavier. Sitting in a comfy leather chair. Talking on her cell phone. Way too loud. I know her life story. And so does everyone else here. I also know the life story of her sister, whom she’s talking to. She [the sister] needs to get surgery on her foot. She also needs to dump her boyfriend because he hasn’t given his life to Jesus.

I’ve thought many times while sitting here about approaching this woman and kindly informing her that I might know her better than she knows herself. I’ve resisted though. For one reason…

How would Jesus interact with these two people? They are clearly being bothersome to all of us here in this quaint little coffee shop. It’s Friday night, and we just want to get something accomplished. One of these people is getting in people’s faces trying to get his message across. One woman is completely ignoring the world around her and yelling into her phone.

What can we learn here? One, these are the people that Jesus hung out with. The one’s that nobody all else wanted to talk to. The one’s that were maybe a little annoying to the people around them. The one’s who honestly quite obviously dont have it all pulled together. The so-called “weirdos“.

Two, if we want to get our message across, we cant be those in-your-face kinds of people. It just doesnt work. We need to engage peacefully with people. And give them a voice. Even if we think their voice is dead wrong. It’s a matter of respect.

Three, we need to be aware of the world around us. We cant live in our own little worlds, our “holy huddles”. We need to know what’s happening outside of our own circle. We need to know what people are thinking about us, because it makes a difference. We need to conduct ourselves in a way that’s attractive to people, while still obviously maintaining our values.

The woman is still talking on her phone, 1 hour and 17 minutes later. The young man has since left. And here I sit in Caribou on a snowy night in Des Moines thinking about life and coffee and my Journalism Law test on Tuesday.

Oh what a wonderful life.

I mean that in all seriousness.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2009 7:02 am

    Thanks for sharing this 🙂 It’s so easy to slip into those “holy huddles”- our flesh just loves being comfortable. When this happens, we lost site of the vision in our hearts to reach the lost. Instead, we become a “Christian club” that is more interested in having fun than sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

    Sometimes it’s so sobering to sit and realize that God loves those people just as much as He loves me, and He longs for them to have a relationship with Him.

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