Evangelism in a coffee shop

This morning I witnessed a person witnessing about Jesus. From a certain angle it was funny, but there were important aspects of the situation.

I strolled into one of my favorite coffee shops to sip a beverage and knock out some work. As I approached the counter to purchase a cup of black tea, on the couch next to me was an attractive woman on one end and a young man on the other. Both were reading with beverage in hand. A minute later I engaged in the all-important ritual of pouring just the right amount of milk into my black tea (you are supposed to drink black tea that way; ask a British person). Turning away from the beverage prep station, I saw him sneak a look at her. I was pretty sure I knew what he was thinking: "How can I start a conversation with this woman?"

One of the few spots open was at a table a couple feet away from the sofa. While I set up my computer and things, I noticed the guy had accomplished his first objective. He had asked her some question, and she was talking to him. "Well done, dude," I thought. "I salute your courage."

Then I heard her say something that caught my ear: "Do you read the Bible?" I noticed that the book she had been reading is none other than the Good Book, and that this guy was now caught firmly in a God-conversation. He had thought he was getting into one discussion, but he was really in another one.

As I write this, they are still talking -- about God, I believe. I have been making light of their conversation, but I want to make a few serious observations.

First, the woman is being open with her faith. She's not afraid to have a God-conversation. I respect that! And who knows what God is doing in the man's heart right now?

Second, her Bible is open to a most unexpected page. Not the Gospel of John. Not Romans. No, she's reading Lamentations, where Jeremiah bleeds all over the page in grief as he watches Jerusalem fall to the Babylonians. Not your top go-to book for a spontaneous God-conversation! But it can open up deep discussions about God and suffering. And her use of it serves as a reminder that "all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

Third, God is resourceful. There's a guy, presumably acting in very "guy" ways, wanting to talk to a woman just because of the way she looks. But God uses even his shallow intentions to introduce deep issues.

Here's to Christians being open with our faith and allowing Scripture to be as wonderful and thought-provoking as the God who inspired it. And here's to people finding God, even when they were really looking for something else.


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