Starbucks to Beer?
I wrote this, this morning sitting in Starbucks. I am trying to do more writing by hand so I am translating this from my cool new journal. This is more of a writing exercise that I started with no purpose other than trying to honestly reflect on the things around me. I feel as though in the process of this, God spoke to me. So I share it with you.
This Starbucks is packed. Packed full of people talking in groups of two or three, groups of three or four and the occasional single person sitting alone with their coffee reading a paper. The thought comes over me and i wonder what these people do. I am kind of sitting in the middle of the store with people walking all around me. I am facing the front door, watching people come in and out. There is a buzz to the place. About twelve guys from Brinks Security are laughing. I wonder if they should be at work.. the businessmen and women are doing some kind of important business behind me. I wonder if there is a man and a woman sitting behind me that are not marriend and really shouldn’t be meeting together. The guy with the newspaper just got up to walk out and leave. I wonder where he is heading. I wonder what kind of car he drives and if he has a good family. I wonder what his day will be like.
I am a Christian. I am a pastor. To be honest, as I sit here I wonder, do these people really need Jesus? They look pretty happy to me. They look like their lives are all “together.” They look like that has community with each other. Do they really need Jesus? Would they even want to know him if they really met him. Perhaps I am getting close to blasphemy here, but I am just asking questions really. I know the Christian answers to all of this but sometimes they leave me wanting. I believe I have met Jesus. I believe that Jesus is who he said he was. Yet, when it comes down to it, the rational side of things is not enough. I can tell someone about Jesus. But I can’t tell them to have faith.
I stood in Big Heads Bar last Saturday night watching a guy in our church’s band play. They put on quite a show. They really play some great music. There were maybe 200 people there and most were probably not there to hear the music really. I would guess that most of them were there for the beer. That’s how it is I think. They work all week, put on their good faces in Starbucks looking all happy and when Saturday night comes around their best option is to let loose at the bar. What are they doing? Drinking their happiness away? Or getting their minds off of their crappy lives? Or are they just looking for a good time?
Maybe they do need Jesus. Maybe Jesus is really what they are looking for. Maybe Jesus can some how mysteriously give them meaning, hope, love, acceptance, faith. But, how will they find Jesus. It seems like they won’t by going to church. Besides the fact that they think church is a crock, they just spent their Saturday night getting drunk and got home at 3 am. And we expect them to find their way to church at 10:30 on Sunday morning.
It happens sure. I have seen it. But the questions I am asking myself this morning. Is the Jesus I would share with these people helpful for them? Is the Jesus I would share with these people the Jesus I have met? Have I really met Jesus enough to share with these people something that they would find hope, love, faith, and acceptance in? I am thinking that perhaps Jesus is not the problem. Maybe its that I have not really met him as I think I have. Or, maybe I am just really bad at sharing the Jesus I have really met. Maybe it’s a combination of both.
Jesus, I believe in you and I believe that you are making all things new. Starting with those who you created in your image, us. I believe you love in ways that I can never comprehend. I believe for reasons I cannot totally explain. God I don’t know exactly how all these people can see you. I don’t know how you could reveal yourself to all these people who, from all signs, are crying out for what you offer. I believe that you want these people to see you. To know you. To experience love. Faith. Hope. Life. Acceptance. I want to believe that you can use your church in this. I also want to believe that the church is willing to follow your spirit into the places it needs to go to make this possible. I don’t know what this means. God, broaden our imaginations and allow us to walk in the movements of the spirit in our community…