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Posts Tagged ‘the effect of coffee’

Recently, I spent some hours promoting my books at our closest Koorong bookstore. The time flew by, with many enjoyable, fruitful conversations. Yet at one stage, I decided to sit down at my book table for a while and have a brief break from connecting with customers. Earlier, I had eaten a hurried lunch and had also tried to buy a coffee, but the café was so busy I had given up. Now, however, more than anything else, I wanted that nice hot cup of coffee to keep me going.

Soon after, I noticed a middle-aged couple browsing nearby. For a moment, I thought of getting up and chatting with them but decided against it. I was too tired—and besides, they did not look like the sort of people who might be interested in my books. The man seemed quite serious and already had a pile of other books under his arm, while the lady appeared somewhat vague to me and … well, just a little quaint.

But then they came closer—and eventually ended up right in front of my book table. I explained a few things about my books to them as politely as I could, and then the gentleman looked straight at me and said in his rather loud voice, ‘Do you need anything? What can I get you?’

‘Oh nothing! I’m fine,’ I lied. ‘I wouldn’t want to bother you anyway, but thank you!’

‘No, no!’ the man insisted. ‘It would be our privilege to serve you. What would you like? Some water perhaps? Or a soda—or coffee?’

I could not resist at that point.

‘Well, to be honest,’ I admitted, ‘I would truly love a coffee. I’ve tried to buy some twice today, but the staff were too busy, and I had to get back here to my book table.’

‘Our pleasure! What sort of coffee? Milk? Sugar?’

Feeling so humbled and more than a little embarrassed, I gave them my order and off they went.

Not long after, they returned, coffee in hand. And I almost burst into tears.

‘Wow, you are such lifesavers!’ I told them—and I truly meant it.

We chatted for a while then—and, in the end, the man’s wife happily bought one of my novels, which humbled me even more.

Afterwards as I sat sipping my wonderful, hot coffee, I sensed God whispering gently, ‘See, Jo-Anne? They wanted to do that for you. There is no shame in acknowledging your need—and it gave them joy too. But … don’t judge so quickly next time, will you?’

As I watched this lovely couple leave the store, I saw them afresh with God’s eyes and thanked God for their soft, servant hearts. They had treated me, a complete stranger, in exactly the way Paul urges us to treat others:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

And in the process, unbeknown to them, they had taught me important, key lessons about humbly acknowledging my needs to God and others—and especially about being far less judgmental all round.

I want to be more like that couple who served me that day, don’t you?

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