A Cup of Compassion
November 18, 2011
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I often write at a local Starbucks, a good place of inspiration for me. People come and go and clusters of two or more people sit at tables in hushed conversation and some in not so hushed conversation. A few are working solo at laptops as I am.
She rolls in here every so often, the lady in the motorized wheelchair. Hunched over, her hand on the controls, and a protective helmet on her head, she makes her way to the counter. “Hi Nancy (not her real name)!” one of the baristas cheerily calls out. I’ve caught snatches of conversation between Nancy and the barista. Whatever has robbed Nancy of the ability to walk has also taken much of her ability to speak, for I find her words nearly unintelligible.
I continue my work but glance back at the counter a couple of minutes later. There stands the barista next to Nancy and her chair. A napkin has been tucked beneath Nancy’s chin and she sips through a straw from a beverage being held by the barista. The barista is engaging her in conversation, as best she can. The other baristas busy themselves, apparently covering for the barista who’s giving her full attention to Nancy.
I am warmed by something far more wonderful than my cup of coffee. This secular place now has a sacred space! The one who has special needs is being served in a special way. The barista is fulfilling what the ancient prophet declared, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” (Zechariah 7:9) I may be a preacher of many words as a pastor of a church but this was a sermon of silent words loudly spoken!
Those of us who seek to be God’s person can bring a sacred space to any place. How? By being a barista of His blessing as we dispense a cup of compassion to those in special need He’s placed around us!