Coffee Shop Gospel

I love a good coffee shop, and not really for the coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cup every now and then, but I could really do without. I go for the atmosphere. I can’t prove this, but I would be willing to bet that every artistic idea, every successful creative venture you have ever heard of was conceived in a coffee shop. The idea for the Starbucks we know today was actually born in Starbucks. Me, I prefer the Mom and Pop, underground, word-of-mouth type shops. The ones that stay open late. Those places are filled with people who would otherwise never speak to one another but somehow vibe like besties when they walk through the door. It’s like magic.

My favorite local shop is a family owned place called Dessert Oasis. It has a Desert Chic vibe, if that’s even possible. What I love is that every weekend, the owner’s daughter does acoustic performances from a small stage in the lounge. She plays the good stuff, like Dylan, Clapton, and Hasselhoff (shout out to the original Knight Rider). She captures the message of each song really well, almost like she’s lived the words. Some people sit on the couches nearby and listen for hours, others study. Some sip coffee and talk as if she isn’t in the room at all, like the notes and lyrics are just distant background noise. It’s like the gospel.

The message of Christ is like music, edgy music with aching lows and spirited highs that swell to triumphant crescendo. The lyrics tell of destruction and redemption. They speak of a humble hero who gave his life so that we could find ours, his resurrection sealing our hope. Believers sing this song every day, performing with conviction, experience. Some listen and are captivated, while others just sip coffee and go through life unmoved as the notes play softly in the distance. I’ve never seen the coffee shop girl storm off stage because some people weren’t listening. She just sings it out for the ones that are and for those who might when given the chance. Like her, we don’t get to decide who cares for our song; it isn’t to us. But there is a song to be played and ears to hear it. Play that song. Somebody’s listening.

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