It is a beautiful gift to learn someone’s name, to listen to their story and to shoulder for a moment the burden they shouldn’t have to bear alone. Click and watch the video below to see a beautiful story of how Candace and her lay leaders became the body of Christ for a stranger at a coffee shop. He’s a stranger no longer…
I have a monthly meeting with the lay leaders of the church.
We meet in a coffee house and we actually meet back in the vaper – cigarette room, whatever, before everybody starts doing that.
We’ve watched this guy sort of putz around in there for the months that we’ve been meeting.
The last time we met was just right after the workshop on Saturday so we were pretty focused on how do we start engaging with the people that we’re meeting.
So when he came in that day, we just started a conversation with him. Found out he was the owner, not just somebody who worked there.
We asked him just how long he’d been there, what his dreams were for the company, how things were going with the business, you know, that kind of thing.
It was just a really nice conversation and then pretty soon this guy showed up at the door, just kind of hanging around there. He came in and sat down and we just asked “Hi, how are you?”
He said, “I’m having a really bad day. I just found out that about a week ago my son overdosed and died. So I’m really dealing with that.”
The people in the room were very caring people, right? That’s why they’re doing what they’re doing. We just started a conversation with him and asked him about his family. It turns out he’d been estranged from his son for five years.
We were able to listen to him. I think he [really] needed to have somebody to talk to about it. We shared that we have a grief group at our church. And we said, we’re available but there are a lot of grief groups around the city.
He mentioned God several times in his conversation. We thought he might be open to prayer and so we asked if we could pray with him. [He was open and] so we did pray with him. That was a really special time.
Then he walked out for a while.
We were all looking at each other, like “Whoa! They said this would happen and then it did.”
He came back in and said “I just want to thank you for listening to me and for being here. I feel a lot better now.”
So we went on with our business. We took another half hour or forty-five minutes of meeting.
Then we were walking out and the owner said. “Thank you so much. That was my brother in law. It’s been really hard for him. I just really appreciate you taking time to spend some time with him.”
You know, I thought it was just a really great encounter. I’m sure it built good will. Next time we go we won’t just be that group that comes once a month. We’ll really have a personality and a face, I think. Even though he might not remember what church we were, we were able to give the brother-in-law our card. So if he needed anything, he knows a church that’s ready to be there.