Monday, August 29, 2016

The Parable of the Good Barista

There once was a good hearted barista who didn't know what he believed about God, about Jesus. At a party, he served special coffee to a gathering of city folk. They gathered to drink coffee and eat sugar waffles, yes, waffles. They gathered to be merry, enjoy each other's company, drink special coffee and yes, eat and eat and eat sugar waffles. Because the host was a Pastor, many who came to eat waffles were Christians. They loved each other, they loved their neighbor, they were faithful church attenders and studied the writings of Scripture in order to live a deeper and more fruitful life with God.

The party, with many Christians, got so full that people spilled over onto the sidewalk outside. They gathered there, laughing, loving, and eating their waffles. They gathered in front of tables with creative ways to raise money for the disenfranchised of the city and the world.

No one noticed the man bent over from the weight of his pack, carrying all of his earthly belongings. He was dirty, he was unkept. He had to make his through the gathering of waffle-eaters on the sidewalk. He had to find a way through the Christians to continue on his journey. As he passed by the party, his journey remained the same...a long path made out of squares of concrete, where at some point he would stop and find a place to rest. 

The host, the Pastor, standing with the Christians on the sidewalk, was shocked to see one of his baristas running from behind the counter with a sugar waffle in his hand. "Don't they realize they shouldn't run with all the guests around here?", he thought to himself. The running would cause a commotion, a disruption. 

All of the sudden, as the barista ran past the host, the Pastor, looked to his right and saw what the barista was running after...the dirty man with the pack. He had him sit on the sidewalk, on one of the squares of concrete, and gave him one of the prized sugar waffles. He gave him a cup of the special coffee. The Pastor heard him say, "Here man, I hope you enjoy this."

In all of the festivities and talk of God's future for the special coffee and prized sugar waffles, the Pastor and all the other Christians didn't see the dirty man with the pack make his way through the crowded sidewalk. Only the barista who isn't sure what he really believes saw his neighbor...and fed him.

This isn't a parable at all.
It's a true story.
The Pastor was me.
The barista is my son...William.

God gave me a glimpse of what our future coffee shop and related church community can look like. He also reminded me that Third Space Coffee and Ecclesia will only be successful when it touches real life, in the trenches of life. I didn't even see the man pass by, but my son did, the one who is honest with me about his doubts of God and religion. I can't help but ask the convicting question of myself...Was God more pleased with my fellowship with other Christians on the sidewalk, or was he more pleased with the simple act of one doubter who fed his neighbor and loved him?

The lesson is clear...the sugar waffles and coffee are only special because of who they are served to. May we be a coffee shop and a church community where there is always commotion and disruption.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing and giving us a glimpse of eternity in the form of a sugar waffle.

  2. I think God opened William's (and our) eyes to what being a God follower is really all about.

  3. Darn that stings! Thank you. Really, thank you very much. Feels like Hebrews 4:12.

  4. I loved reading this observation about William's loving heart. I see a lot of his namesake, your Dad, in his personality-Bill's thoughtful, caring and sensitive side.
    Your sharing this is a gentle reminder to all of us to look for ways we too, can be the "hands and feet" of Jesus wherever we are.