Today’s Word: ‘GRACE’ as in… “What do you like, dark roast? You want cream or sugar with that?”
I’d been visiting my dad in Arizona. Each morning I’d get up early, drive across town to a coffee shop, spend some time writing before heading back to meet my dad about mid-morning. It was a great rhythm.
On the third morning, though, I’d forgotten my wallet. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal except that it was a big deal. Lots of rigmarole: packing my backpack, tip-toeing out of the house, cursing the loud garage door, driving across town, unpacking my gear and settling in. But this time without a wallet. Such first world problems. What to do? Should I stay or should I go?
That’s when something marvelous happened. Grace happened. Actually, Debbie happens.
Debbie is the barista. She is cheerful, hospitable. Like a song, she plays the room with a tray of caramel happiness pouring from a thermal carafe into tasting cups. Debbie approaches me and offers me a sample. “Thanks,” I say, admitting that I’d probably buy a whole cup of coffee had I not forgotten my wallet. I tell her I am sorry to be taking up space and using the Wi-Fi without supporting her or her coworkers, but simply can’t pay for a single drop of dark roast. Without missing a beat and with a catchy rhythm of both grace and hospitality, Debbie looks at me and asks, “What do you like, dark roast? You want cream or sugar with that?” I hesitate briefly, then say the dark roast will be fine. You know this moment, don’t you, the humility of receiving grace; of being given a gift that your certainly don’t deserve and could never earn? A minute later, Debbie is back with the dark roast. It occurs to me that even in the midst of negligence on my part that there’s an opportunity for someone else. In this case, Debbie has the opportunity to provide a bright, shining moment of grace and hospitality in the place where she works.
The moment is redeemed, the morning is restored and the catchy rhythm of grace fills this Arabica-soaked writing venue like a symphony fills a concert hall.
Grace. Hospitality. Such a catchy, thriving rhythm.