Thursday, January 31, 2013
Witnessing over coffee
They were wearing all white, including white head coverings and blank white tote bags; but I was pretty sure they weren't the Knights Templar.
They were several young women in a Starbucks near the university, and despite their rather formal garb they seemed quite relaxed, reclining in their chairs like any undergraduate, sipping away at some hot beverage or another, and freely -- eagerly -- striking up conversations with anyone who would listen. Aha. Here there be evangelizing!
"How are you?" one of them greeted me as I stirred a little bit of sugar into my tea. A sweet face swathed in white cotton -- she was practically in a burqa. I had a momentary memory of my son Gabriel just seconds after his birth, swaddled in a tightly wrapped blanket with a tiny crew hat that came down to his eyes -- a sweet face, framed in cotton. During her polite pause for my response, she must have taken a deep breath. I said, "Great. How are you today?" And she was OFF:
"Well I'm feeling terrific because I'm with Jesus and Jesus is with me and I just can't imagine living life without Him well I did for a while I was using drugs and ignored Jesus but since I let Him into my life I am feeling great joy and more power than ever because I'm co-creating this beautiful universe with Jesus..."
She must have been practiced at circular breathing because she never stopped for air. Since this conversation required no participation from me whatsoever -- the young woman would have cheerfully testified to a wooden stool if there were no people in the room -- I looked around and saw a few of her companions, savoring the patience of other customers in the store. Well, why not, I thought. I wanted to ask what sort of organization they belonged to, as I don't know of a Christian group or cult or whatever whose followers wear all white. There was no getting a word in edge-wise, however. Let's check in and see if she's still talking right now--
"...it says in John that He is the vine and we are the branches and that means we can't do anything without Him but He is working through us all the time but He is building His kingdom, not ours..."
Yeah, she's still going. Anyway, back to my story. She was going on in this vein and I politely stirred my tea. There was no reason to be rude. She wasn't even insisting that I answer questions. As I locked the top of my cup, I noticed something that amused me: I had dressed entirely in black today.
And the figure in black, turning on one heel towards the exit, said to the enthusiastic Co-Creator-wth-Jesus dressed all in white, "I have to go. But I rejoice in your happiness."
"Thank you," she replied. "Have a wonderful day."