Ok, so today has been so jammed-full of weekend-goodness that I don’t really know where to start… In brief…
I have eaten yet more Italian tapas (‘Yes!’ for spontaneously hunger-driven decisions with friends).
I drank my first ever real-life espresso (This long-ish story will be expanded upon later).
After 4 hours in said espresso-providing cafe, I finally figured out how to get the video footage from my iPad onto my laptop, with some kind of hope for editing it into the format needed for my Masters evaluative piece. Now, I just need to figure out the whole editing thing… Hmm, informative answers on a postcard please…
I wrapped all my Christmas presents (For someone who is so artistic, I am SO BAD at wrapping!! Seriously…)
AND, I began the rather epic job of writing ‘Thank You’ cards for some friends and colleagues I’m not going to see again for the foreseeable after next week. And I became aware that this could be a week where more-than-a few tears are shed! Get ready…
So, back to the espresso.
If you are following my blog, you will know that yesterday I wrote about my love/hate/confused journey with coffee.
Now, one of my friends helpfully responded to my lament by providing some thorough advice to my dilemma, and shared some of his own coffee-journeying experience (Thanks Levi!) Notably, he suggested that I try a real-life espresso. From a non mainstream coffee chain. (Ok, I’m really just giving you the advice-foot-notes…)
Now, in Inverness, this is easier said than done. Because non mainstream coffee shops with baristas who genuinely care about the quality of their coffee are few and far between. However, there is one little place I know with a mean-looking-coffee-machine, some great free wifi, an affluence of home made cakes, and a selection of Clipper tea (Just in case the whole coffee-thing failed epically…)
Perfect for productive study afternoons with friends. Perfect for espresso trying.
Now, honestly, all my friends were dubious about my ability to be able to cope with any kind of strong coffee. Phrases like, ‘You might actually be sick’ were thrown around… And as I was placing our order (Two pots of tea, two pieces of cake… And one espresso), I was explaining my story to the barista. Like you do.
Me: So, I’m a tea fanatic who’s really always wanted to also be a coffee fanatic, and I’ve been told that it’s all about the quality of the coffee… Blah, blah, blah….
Barista: (Quizzical look on his face that seems to say, ‘WHO is this crazy girl?’)
This guy was seriously amused.
But, credit to him, he also put some serious hard work into his coffee blend.
In really good humour, he actually said (with a straight face) that he felt the weight of my coffee-drinking-future on his shoulders.
Cue ‘Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn…’ music…
So, by the time my espresso was delivered to the table, I really and actually felt the pressure. All eyes were on me. The expectant barista. My friend. Some other coffee-shop patrons. All looking. All waiting. For my response.
I nervously put the tiny cupful of deep-brown liquid to my mouth.
I shut my eyes.
There was no grimmacing. No spitting it back in the cup. No running out of the shop. No crying.
It was good. I actually quite liked the taste of a real-life-strong-coffee-espresso.
And now here’s the funniest thing. The barista was so excited… He actually gave a cheer from behind the counter. Like, he even did a little air-punch next to the coffee machine. I think I probably made his week. He was properly, genuinely stoked.
Which made the whole experience all the greater.
Because there was a real sense of corporate-coffee-shop-achievement.
And I guess here’s the real thought of my blog post today… It can be so easy to totally make someone’s day. It actually takes so little on our part. Just the willingness to engage in real life conversation, or real life eye contact, or real life laughter. To invite someone else into our world, and be able to share a little bit of our story with their story.
As Christians, we’re called to be the light of the world. The salt of the earth. The people who walk radiant with the love of Jesus overflowing from us. Those who speak words of healing, and whose hands and feet are ready and able to be used by the Holy Spirit. Those who are prepared to take the opportunities in front of us.
But sometimes, we are so caught up in our own internal ‘stuff’, that we forget there’s a whole world to engage with. Maybe we’re scared to get out of our comfort zone and engage in conversation. Maybe we’re not sure where to even start when it comes to talking to our friends or family about our faith. Maybe we get tongue-tied just thinking about it. Maybe we can only imagine these complicated, deep, 3 hour discussions that we don’t really feel ready for.
But when I think about Jesus, I’m always encouraged. Because he took the opportunities in the everyday. Naturally. All the time. He loved people. He talked with people. He healed people where they were. He didn’t super-spiritualise everything, but he met practical needs in practical ways, and displayed the kingdom of God through stories and easy-to-understand examples. He welcomed children. He esteemed the broken. He invited those he met into his story, and engaged with their stories so that he could introduce them to God’s story.
He kept the main thing the main thing.
And I thought today, about the simplicity of bringing some real joy and laughter to another person. About how little effort it took from me to bring a little bit of hope into someone’s stressful day. About how the opportunities to share the love of God are around us all the time.
In giving eye contact. In treating people like they are valuable. In focusing on those around us. In sharing a smile. In making laughter wholesome and inclusive. And in talking about Jesus. In everything. Even coffee.
Yep, even in trying an espresso, Jesus can be glorified.
He can be glorified in all things.
And, this was my celebration of espresso drinking… Yep. That’s Darjeeling tea. And chocolate brownie. Score. I’m not quite ready to leave my tea behind just yet.