I left New York City on a Sunday and embarked a cross-country road trip with my two best friends. Five days later I sat in the tiny cottage that I was renting and heard nothing but silence. It was a far cry from the constant noise and bustle of New York City and it was uncomfortable.
I thought to myself, “Any second now, I’ll wake up and be back home.” But that never happened. So I challenged myself to find something that I could really love about that place and eventually I did: The coffee shops!
Now I know that there are coffee shops in New York, but there’s something different about the locally owned ones. The differences I perceived are a little too complex to explain right now, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Southern California coffee shops are a world of their own.
What transpired one day at my favorite coffee shop only served to confirm the affinity I have for them. I walked in and ordered my favorite Earl Grey Tea Latte and sat down at my usual corner table with a book I only pretended to read. My real mission was to listen to the conversations happening at the tables around me. I do this a lot. From my table I’ve heard love being professed, hearts breaking, ideas developing, and plans forming.
But I think that what I heard that day will be forever etched my in memory:
Red Shirt Lady: He’s great! He loves God. He’s so kind. I like him. I really do.
Blue Shirt Lady: So, then what’s the problem?
Red Shirt Lady: Well… It’s me. There’s so much wrong with me. If he finds out what a mess I really am… it’ll break my heart.
Blue Shirt Lady: Hmm (very long silence) Do you believe that God is good?
Red Shirt Lady: Of course I do! What does that have to do with anything?
Blue Shirt Lady: Well, ‘cause what I hear you saying is that you’re afraid of your heart breaking. And you’re right. If you take a chance on this guy that may very well happen. But I wonder: do you believe that God is good enough to pick up the pieces?
I didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation. I just sat and thought about all the times that I had let fear overshadow God’s goodness. When I forgot that even if my world crumbles, God still remains. So I promised myself that next time fear stood in the way of my dreams, I would ask one very important question: “Do you believe that God is good?”
“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 105:5 NIV).
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