Yesterday was one of those days that could have gone either way. Good or Bad. Up or Down. The random phone call with not so good news, the impromptu conversation about life and Derek Jeter’s last season with the Yankees, important stuff.
When I walked in the door of the coffee shop, I thought “Uh oh its gonna be a rough one.” There she was. We’ll call her Harriet. Harriet is somewhat of a regular. She walks all over town. Piddling in this and that. Going from one place to another. No official agenda, at least that’s how it seems. She blows into the shop, with a loud, and high pitched “HEY – Where’s Mr. Shannon!” Asks for her “sample” of coffee – 2 oz’s to be exact, any more and she’d be lethal. Not gonna lie, there have been somedays that I’ve hidden behind a refrigerator to keep from having to talk to her. She’s loud, overbearing, and she get’s right up in my bubble. She’s a character.
Every once in a while she comes dragging some poor soul into the shop wanting me to pray for them. “Stop what you’re doing and pray for them Mr. Shannon!!!!” Sometimes I get annoyed. Most of the time I get annoyed. Not because I have to pray, but because she’s so doggone demanding. That’s how I felt yesterday.
The guy she wrangled into the shop was twice her size. Tatted up one arm and down the other. She brought him in for me to pray for him. While they were waiting for me to get there, she found a guy sitting at a table with his Bible open. It was Danny. He was doing his quiet time. Quiet until Harriet busted through the door. Danny owns a tattoo parlor downtown, so I suspect that the fact that he has quite the selection of tatts AND his Bible was open on the table, made him an obvious candidate for Harriet and her new friend to talk to until I arrived.
I finally made my way over to the table, and Danny looked a little shell shocked. This obviously wasn’t how he expected to start off his day, his walk through Psalms interrupted by a 4 foot tornado and a goliath of a man walking close behind. Harriett explained that she was walking by the jail and “ran into this fella, Christopher.” He had just been released from jail, and was in a state of complete despair and hopelessness. With tears streaming down his face he looked at Danny and me, and Harriett and said “Can we pray NOW!” We did. No fire from heaven. No earthquakes. Just talking to God, realizing He was the one responsible for this “chance” encounter.
I woke up this morning thinking about that experience and others like it. It wasn’t an hour or two later that John walked in from the street, said “Pastor Shannon – can you pray with me?” and we sat together and did just that. I love pastoring over a cup of coffee. Its exactly where I’m supposed to be, and where I imagine Jesus himself would be.
I thought about Danny as well. I have to chuckle a little about the entire situation. Not about Christopher and his plight, he needed to be there, he needed prayer. I thought about John carrying that burden right up to my table in hopes we could pray about it together. I had to thank God – that all of us – yeah maybe even Harriett too – were in the right place at the right time.
Can I challenge you to make yourself available today. Be open. Be ready. God might just have some one who needs just a little of what you have to share.