James Coffee Co. has a tendency to ebb and flow between mission field and alter from which I commit idolatry. I’ve spent several hundreds of dollars at this coffee shop and have justified it largely because I claimed, “I’m building relationships with them all so I can give them the gospel!” Sometimes this was a true exclamation from a heart burdened for the souls of each employee here, but for a while there it was just something I spout to justify idolatry. For a while there, I just wanted them to like me. My happiness was dependent on how much attention they gave me that day.
Lately, I’ve become painfully aware of the sin issues going on there and so I disciplined myself. I have refused to go on a daily basis – a big deal for me. Since then, I’ve began taking my walk with God much more seriously. I’d been grieved at the reality that I was swapping my King for silly and worldly things. That’s not okay.
God has been using my new friendship with Katrina and my new church, Community Bible Church, tremendously to sanctify me. Pride is being corroded away by a desire to become like Christ: reconciliation has been on my heart with people I never thought I would speak to again; pleas for forgiveness in humiliation of my sin has poured from my heart when pride would never allow it; and the latest — gospel sharing with someone from James Coffee Co.
The owner’s brother has been heavy on my heart for a while. We’re the most unlikely friends EVER (seriously), but that’s what’s so tremendous about it! I’m a small, conservative Christian 20 year old. He’s a massive, hulk, vulgar, 35 year old spewer of profanities. Yet, we’re friends.
He recently took a road trip up the west coast and so I hadn’t seen him for a few weeks. As I sat at a bar table working on an assignment for school, he comes out from behind the curtain separating the public space from the offices.
*Gasp* “Ah! You’re back!” I said as I clasped one hand over my heart and the other over my mouth.
“Yeah yeah, good acting… pretending to be excited to see me.”
“No, sincerely! I’m like… sooo happy you’re back!”
I could tell he was flattered. I really was sincere. A bit later he came over and sat next to me. I asked him about his trip and he began telling me about it. Sidenote: this guy does not talk much. If I try telling a story about myself he’ll pay attention for 60 seconds then blatantly say, “Yeah I stopped listening.” Partially joking. Partially serious. But here he was telling me all about his trip. “We saw some elephant seals who were giving birth this time of year…. Don’t worry they were married,” he mocked — knowing I’m a Christian. “Why are you such a Jesus hater?” I asked him. “I don’t hate the guy, I just think he was crazy.”
“You’re not alone in that thought. Lots of people think he was just crazy. Honestly, he either was who he said he was, or he was crazy. but if he were crazy… he was successful or believable since here we are several years later talking about him.”
We talked about why Jesus and Christianity are different from other religions: how Jesus is the only author of a faith who is still living, how he resurrected, how Christianity is the only religion where we don’t try reaching the bar of perfection and righteousness, but where God as man came down and lived to that bar than offered the worse trade ever (for Him) and the greatest exchange ever (for us!). I gave him the gospel.
My heart was overwhelmed! Towards the end he asked if I was going to cry because I was getting so passionate. “No, I’m not going to cry. I just get passionate because the bible says so few people find the truth. Like, here it is! But nobody wants it and I just want everyone to have it.” With that, he smiled a big smile, stood up and said, “I really like you. I believe now!” He was kidding about believing now… but he was sincere that he liked me! Throughout the conversation, he was so attentive and interested. I could see it. I could see the wheels turning and the Spirit working. I’m overjoyed!!! In my car as I drove home later that night I prayed aloud pleading with God to save his soul. I’ve bombarded my friends with texts asking them to pray for him. And so I ask you, dearest reader… if you’re a Christian, please pray for his salvation 🙂