Belated story but must share! This peculiar LA morning began with taking Katty to therapy only to have an hour to sip coffee with Jesus, waiting for her to text “finished”. I love Pete’s coffee so decided that I would sit outside at table all my own, sip my latte, and open the Word. It was bustling with customers of all types, some well dressed and others of the street persuasion. This Pete’s was located on a very busy little corner in Westwood where high end home décor and homelessness lined the sidewalks, very striking imagery if you ask me. Finally my latte order was slid over my way from the counter barista and out to my little haven I went, smell of vanilla roasted beans preceding my every step.
With selfish excitement for an uninterrupted hour of “Quiet Time” I got to my rickety iron “umbrellaed” table and began to set up shop. A book about Beauty that I had just gotten the day before from the author herself (Anne Ortlund), Bibles ( yes more than one), journal, and various colorful pens draped the tabletop. A sigh of relief and anticipation as I took my first sip and stare into His Word….
It lasted all of 5 short minutes when I was interrupted ( or should I say intersected) by an interesting man. He was dressed “coordinated” but unique, with nothing in hand but a coffee cup he must have brought from home. He walked by my table turned around and came back to ask me, “ can I share your table?” Ummm…. NO! That was my first ( flesh) thought… No, you can’t, I anticipated this morning for a while and wanted time alone with the Savior of the World you live in. In about 5 seconds the conversation in my head spilled out of my mouth with an “ of course you can”. Don’t you love it when Jesus trumps and answers through you? He proceeds to sit down and loudly slurp his coffee at these already awkwardly positioned personal spaceless tables. Beyond the noise interruption, it was his unrelenting stare at me and my Bible that really put it over the top. Nope, he had nothing to read, look like, or ponder… but me. Agh! Not how I wanted to share my morning coffee quiet time, for sure. Then he speaks… “ beauty and religion, those are mutually exclusive”. Oh no… hear we go, now I have to actually engage with him?! Lord, are you serious? Again conversations in my head were trumped with words from His mouth. “No actually they go together perfectly.. true beauty comes from a depth of what is inside… most people are just really shallow. Yes religion is exclusive… but that is why beauty and relationships are the choiced match”. He just continues to stare at me shaking his head in disagreement. Buses are stopping on the corner with loud exhaust each time they brake, business men are standing at the stoplight waiting to cross screaming their deals to everyone near them not just the person on the cell phone, and now me and my little man are trying to have a life discussion. Agh! His lips were moving but I could hear nothing. He was so soft spoken anyway then add in all other LA noise on a Friday morning and the cause is lost. It was comical actually and I found myself smiling, leaning in to catch every other word of this character. Then I was reminded of Jesus words, “when you entertain people and do for the least of these, you do it unto Me”. I was smiling and thanking God for allowing this interesting man to cross my life path for 20 minutes. . I finished up my bible study and conversation with the nameless man and exited the table with a gracious smile and grateful heart. It is rubbing shoulders with the world that introduces them to the hug of Christ at some point. Jesus knows all by name and I pray He calls his soon. Who knows, maybe his name was Pete.