I didn’t quite know what to write about for this week. So I sat around in the coffee shop, looking for inspiration in my old posts (What were my spring hopes again?) and maybe in the pictures on my phone. I sat scrolling and sitting and thinking, but still my screen was blank. And then I overheard something beautiful at the table next to mine. It touched my heart, so I thought you might like to hear it.
This is not my story to share so I hope I am forgiven for eavesdropping. I wasn’t trying. I just couldn’t help but notice the love. Really, I couldn’t help but notice the adorable baby first. She was crying when she arrived with her mom. So mom walked her outside while they waited for their friend. When friend came, baby settled happily into friend’s lap and the two women chatted. I didn’t really notice them for a while as I chatted with my own friend. It was when it was time for me to write, and I couldn’t, that I turned my head and noticed the mom wiping a tear from her own cheek. I looked away to give them their privacy, and also because I was supposed to be writing, but then I started to hear the friend’s words. I glanced back and saw that they were holding hands, their eyes were closed and the friend was praying aloud for the mom. She was asking God for support for this new mom and her family, to send the right people into their lives to help them, praying for the woman’s husband, the baby and also for herself. She asked God to show her what she could do to help the mom. It brought tears to my eyes.
This moment struck me as beautiful in so many ways – the friendship, the faith, the connection. The mom was struggling and the friend was sending these beautiful hopes of goodness out into the universe for her. The mom was struggling and here she had this other woman sitting with her as she cried. I thought of how we are gifted with friendship and family, with each other to help us through. I thought of how we are called to show up for each other as we walk through the tough times, how my own people have done this for me and how I try to do it for them. These women were obviously holding some big pain in their hearts, but at the same time they were literally holding this tiny, adorable, baby-girl-miracle in their laps. And I thought of how we get the most amazing wonders and beauty even in the midst of our hardest trials. They prayed. To God. They prayed to God in public, out loud, right in the middle of strangers. And I thought of how amazing it is that people can choose to live by faith. Faith in a higher power or even just the hope of happier times to come. Seeing these women…I felt my heart.
And then they left and two college kids sat down and started loudly talking about Nine Inch Nails. Ya know? The band. And listen, I have been to a Nine Inch Nails concert. But something about it rubbed me the wrong way, and I wanted to stop them and I wanted to ask them, “Do you know the sacred thing that just happened at this table?!” How could they just sit down and start talking about rock music when people were just crying there and praying?! My friend and I rolled our eyes and joked about it. But then we wondered…are they on a first date? And so I asked myself, “Do you know what sacred thing could be happening at that table?” Because before the praying women, a couple was meeting with their wedding photographer, dreaming up what would surely be one of their most sacred days. And I wondered what else has happened at that table – breakups, job interviews, new friendships, house purchases, business deals, and so many just every day average, sacred cups of coffee…all right there in public, out loud. This life, you guys! It’s what happens at Starbucks. And all the other places too!