afternoon at the coffee shop

frappe

I was sitting at a coffee shop with my favorite caramel frappe. It was one of those times when you just want to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the life you’ve been given.

Of course, I come to coffee shops to write. The afternoon slips away: peacefully, because there are no interruptions and thoughts come out more smoothly when I don’t have a to-do list sitting beside me.

I did my writing, but I also spent plenty of time people-watching because it’s fascinating business.

What stories do these people have? What are they up to?

The coffee shop was busy until the evening. By then there were only a few of us still there. I put away my writing and continued reading my way through Isaiah. A middle-aged couple sat at a table in the corner, probably twenty feet from me. They’d caught my eye upon walking in because this lady had the most tired eyes. Maybe it had just been a long day and coffee with her husband tonight would be a nice break? Continued observation seemed to disprove this idea. They talked in hushed voices and solemn faces, or just sat staring off into the distance. They looked weary and distinctly sad.

I sat in my chair watching the sorrowful people and reading Isaiah, chapters on the sin of God’s people and their impending judgment, and it all overcame, the feeling of a great burden.

Then this came next:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

All in the moment of reading those words, I felt a sudden, surprising peace. Even on beautiful days there will be reminders of sin and sadness and pain, a life mankind chose for themselves that day our first parents believed the lie of Satan and disobeyed God. It’s a life we chose for ourselves over and over while rejecting God in our fallen state. But even then God made a way of Salvation, offering Life while we were caught up striving after death. There is a Savior promised in the midst of pain. There is glorious, life-giving hope for us residing on earth, and the Prince of Peace will reign forever. 

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6 thoughts on “afternoon at the coffee shop

  1. I rarely get to sit and people-watch, but when I do (and, really, just during experiences in public in general), I experience a very similar train of thought. I start developing ideas in my head about people as soon as I start watching them, which is probably my slightly judgmental side coming out. Then, more often than not, I start to observe something about them that really betrays their lost and hopeless state apart from Christ. Then I begin to be tempted to get depressed about how lost the world is and what a mess we’ve made. But then I remember something like what you drew from that Isaiah passage: Christ is making all things new. I’m living proof of that. Nothing is hopeless. Nothing is meaningless. Everything is part of His plan to bring His people good and to renew the earth. And I’m currently only seeing a very small part of the masterpiece that He’s creating, so who am I to get depressed because I can’t see what He’s doing at every given moment?

    Like you said, that sentiment brings such peace and comfort. Jesus truly is the Wonderful Counselor, for it is His Spirit Who sets my thoughts aright when I begin to think wrongly. And He is truly the Prince of Peace, because, even in the midst of the chaos and the ugliness, He is making something beautiful and serene. I just have to be still and know that He is God. And for some odd, paradoxical reason, sometimes the easiest way to do that is to spend time right in the middle of the lives of a bunch of really broken, messed up people like those you come across in a coffee shop. ;)

    • Hey! Thanks for for your patience with me since I forgot to reply to your comment last week! I enjoyed reading your train of thought when people watching. Just like you said, two of the biggest encouragements when I’m tempted to become discouraged by people I see is both the truth of who Christ is and what He’s done for me–I bring that to the Lord in prayer often when I’m praying for people’s salvation: “You saved me while I deserved no mercy, and I wasn’t seeking You at all. Even though ____ isn’t seeking You, would still please show mercy?” And yes, I love Psalm 46:10! It calms me in so many situations, including ones like these. :)

  2. Amy! I see I’ve missed a lot of your posts! I look forward to reading them soon! And I’m jealous you have a coffee shop near you! Do you go there often? Hope everything is going well! :)

    • Ha-ha, just been blogging away over here. ;) Actually, there are about three coffee shops near me, so I’m spoiled. I don’t know, I go to them rather often, mostly just getting together with friends…. Thanks! Same for you!

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