For a few weeks, this thing has been building. I have been purposely ignoring someone who is simply being friendly, someone who only wants a cup of coffee and a chat in the middle of his day. He comes by the church almost every Saturday while I am there cleaning. I have come to expect that he will stop by and ask if there’s any coffee. And yet every Saturday, I do not make coffee.
But the last time that scenario played out, I felt convicted. I had that sinking feeling inside that I knew what I was doing was not okay. And I asked myself, why am I doing this? It’s such a simple thing. A cup of coffee, a short chat, a friendly face. Why in the world would I knowingly, purposely deny him that?
I could blame it on my introversion, my shyness, or my desire to spend some time alone. Yes, I am introverted. Yes, I am shy. Yes, I enjoy spending a little time alone on Saturday mornings. But none of those things made it okay for me to refuse to give this man what he was looking for. The truth is, there really was no good reason for it.
So this Saturday, I made him coffee. He came in, poured a cup for himself and a cup for me, and we talked. It was just a short time. Five minutes, maybe ten. I had given him a travel mug to drink from, and when he left, I told him to go ahead and take it with him and come in for a refill next Saturday.
Perhaps a new tradition has begun.
I like to talk about community and the concept of loving others, but I wonder if sometimes I get so caught up in looking at the big ways of doing it, or just pondering it theoretically, that I miss so many little opportunities. Truth be told, there are opportunities throughout our daily lives to lift people up, encourage them and love them. How many times do I ignore those opportunities? More than I would like to admit, I think.
"We can do no great things; only small things with great love." -Mother Teresa