Coffee Shop Christianity: Carry me a Latte

The ultimate irony?

With four and a half hours to kill, in a city that is not my home, while my daughter practices her gymnastics; I spend a ridiculous amount of time in Starbucks.  Last Thursday, trying desperately to focus on anything but my current life, I became agitated by my surroundings.

The grey-haired women at the center table sat nibbling on bridge mix from Tupperware containers and discussing the latest in a series of books teaching Christian women what they can do to be better Christian women.  The two college girls to my right whispered about plans to move to Hawaii.  “I, like, saw this t-shirt the other day with a picture of Islands on it and it said ‘YOU! HERE!’  I’m going to take that as a yes from God.”  Straight in my line of sight was a middle-aged man and his younger counter part scheming about possible connections and ways to become a Pastor.  The older man glorified the Pastoral position, while the younger drooled over the possibilities.

I sat in the corner fighting tears.  My week was full of sadness.  A dear friend was sent home on hospice with no more treatment, no more hope, just days.  My co-worker drowned under the news that her father had pancreatic cancer.  A young girl whom I love tried to end her life, while another fought to get her life back after a debilitating thyroid disease caused her to waste away.  And there was more . . .

I wanted to scream.  All around were hurting people, but where were the Christians?  Sitting in Starbucks, sipping on lattes, talking about what God could do for them . . . me included.  At what point did “church” and “ministry” become tied to lattes and scones.

When God speaks of His Everlasting arms, he says that they are underneath us.  He said to the Israelites that they would look back and see that He had carried them.  Christians praise the men who carried the paralytic to Jesus, and the man who carried the cross as Christ headed to the hill at Golgotha.  The church is the body of Christ, not to sip on mochas but to reach out as far as His hands would go.    God calls us to now carry one another as He has carried us.

First we must put down the green and white cup.

What fills your hands today?  Is there something you can put down, in order to be the hands of God?  These are the questions I’ve been pondering.  I want more than coffee shop Christianity.

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