Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Morning's Coffee

I have a favorite travel coffee cup.  One of my best friends gave it to me for my birthday, and it has one of my favorite verses on it (Proverbs 3:5-6).  And I am one of those people who gets sentimentally attached to things like that.

This morning, I gave it away.

When I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning, I wasn’t thinking about the man I had just let finish crossing the street before turning the corner.  Then I heard him call to me, “Do you have any food for a homeless man?”

Now, most of the time I just refer them to the local office or give them the gift certificates that I keep at my office for just such a time.  But this time, after asking him to wait a few minutes, I grabbed the certificates, and then ransacked my own lunch for the fruit, pizza and cookie that I had packed.  Then I grabbed the coffee cup, which had a yummy pumpkin spice blend in it today, and would have been the precise temperature to be able to drink comfortably.  I’ll admit, I hesitated for a moment.  After all, it was in my favorite cup.

But thankfully, it was only a moment.  Because I quickly remembered that I could get more coffee, and another cup, without too much trouble.  And I just spent a week in a country where I am rich by comparison to their everyday lives, reminding me of others' needs a little more clearly.  And God told me to – enough said.

As I passed over the bag of food and my coffee, he expressed his thanks with bright eyes and a small smile.  I asked his name.

“Emmanuel,” he replied.

Emmanuel.  “God with us.”  How appropriate.