I am becoming increasingly convinced my coffee shop is a place where angels gather. I’ve been witness to many unexpected and very much needed blessings while standing in line for a caffeinated concoction. Yesterday was no exception, it was however, exceptional.
Hot, hot, hot. While beautiful, the day was sticky, sweaty, and a little miserable to be quite honest. I almost didn’t go in, I feared someone might see the beads of sweat trickling from my forehead and conclude I had a tropical ailment of some sort.
My desire for the relief and happiness a venti iced coffee would bring won out, as I knew it would. I was relieved, and a little grossed out to see most everyone else eagerly waiting in line was glistening with the heat of the day as well.
The man in front of me seemed to be melting. He was a big guy. Big. I would hazard a guess at 6 feet tall and certainly well over 200 pounds, most likely a fair bit more. He was fidgety. One step to the side, two steps back, one forward, etc..
He looked down at me, my non-statuesque height of 5’3 left me feeling like a little girl in comparison. He said, “She wants a vanilla bean with extra caramel. You ever hear of such a thing? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
I smiled and said it sounded too sweet for my taste, just coffee and cream with a touch of sweetness for me. He held up the dollar bills in his hand, “She gave me seven dollars and didn’t even tell me what size to get, you believe that?”
“I guess you can get her any size then, I’d go for the big one.”
He started chuckling which led to a full blown belly laugh, “I see, you want me to go and make her really happy today, alright,”
He began telling me all about their day at the mall, what his wife was buying and why, his unfortunate happenstance of bringing her on a day Macy’s was having a sale. I laughed and said, “Isn’t Macy’s always having a sale?”
With that, the belly laughter returned. There was silence between us as he ordered and then it was my turn. He’d stepped outside for a moment to sneak a smoke as I heard him tell the barista. When he returned, surprisingly and thankfully smelling smoke free, he began humming a tune. It was lovely.
I told him the tune he was singing would be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. His already wide grin grew. “You’ll like this.” he said as he stepped closer to me. He began to sing to me. My second coffee shop serenade.
It was beautiful, positively beautiful. It was about love and devotion, a sweet blend of gospel and soft R&B. When he’d sang a few lines he asked, “You hear that one before?” I told him I hadn’t but I loved it. He said he was going to let me in on a secret. He was writing it.
He looked me in the eyes and asked, “You know who that’s about?” I said, “I think I do.” He laughed, “That’s right, it’s about my Jesus, my Lord and savior,” and he began to sing it again. He grabbed the venti vanilla bean frap with extra caramel for his wife and shuffled out the door still singing.
I really think that little coffee shop is a place where angels come to gather.
Crystal R. Cook