I have a feeling that with the amount of time I spend sipping mochas over at our local Caribou Coffee, this could easily turn into a regular topic of discussion. Its amazing the different kinds of people that you can encounter, and the variety of things you can overhear when spending a few hours in a coffee shop. People in a rush, people with lots of time on their hands, the regulars, the newbies… you’re almost guaranteed to spot them all in the course of a few hours. One of my favorite things about making Caribou my regular homework local is the familiarity of a place that feels like home, always full of familiar faces, and yet isn’t home and always has something new going on.
This afternoon as I tried to ever-so-diligently plow through some reading for my theology class, I found myself briefly distracted by a man who sat down nearby and proceeded to make a series of phone calls while he shuffled through a medium-sized stack of loose, stapled and other assorted papers. After one or two of these calls, I picked up a little bit on what this man was doing.
He was calling people just to check in because he hadn’t seen them in a while.
I’m not sure if these were business contacts, personal friends, or church members that he was contacting, but his care for these people was genuine. He really wanted to know what was going on in the lives of these people with whom he had apparently lost contact.
As I was momentarily drawn into his world (yet continued to hide behind my lofty reading material), I spent a bit of time reflecting.
How often do people fall through the cracks in our churches because nobody even notices when they’re missing from the pews for a few weeks, let alone calls them up because they are genuinely interested in what’s going on in their lives?
How many times do people in my own life fall through the cracks because I get so caught up in what is going on around me that I forget to keep in touch with people who really matter?
I honestly believe that our world needs more people like this anonymous man in the coffee shop today. People who show genuine interest in the lives of others. People who aren’t afraid to call someone up just to see how they’ve been.
I know I can definitely learn some lessons from this guy.