Jesus saves the day at St. Arbucks

Blog’s Inspiration: Jennifer Fulwiler posed a question on her show on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel. She asked what type of coffee would Jesus order? Fulwiler blogs at Conversion Diary.

How are we to approach the Gospels in this current age? Certainly, Jesus’ words are timeless. There is no need to rewrite or “punch up” what the Gospel writers penned. They are beautiful how they are.

Do people really understand the context, the setting? Even if they can understand the setting, does it ring true to them because it’s not something they can easily visualize?

Take, for example, the Wedding at Cana (St. John 2:1-12). Sure, people understand weddings but do they understand wedding feasts that went on for days? Probably not.

At the wedding, the host ran out of wine. Mary, Jesus’s mother, encouraged Him to do something. Jesus ordered the servants to fill jars with water. The Christ then proceeded to turn the vats of water into the best wine anyone had ever tasted.

What if the story took place at a busy Starbucks on a Saturday morning. The store is full of young families with kids in tow, hunters on their way to the woods, youth soccer players in day-glow kits and so forth.

The long line teems with people desperately needing their caffeine fix. The baristas are busy working until one announces—quite shockingly—they’ve run out of coffee. (As improbable as this may seem at a Starbucks, work with me for the sake of this story.)

Mary and Jesus are sitting on comfy chairs with their morning coffee. They are on their way to a local craft festival. Mary plans on selling shawls she knitted, and Jesus is going to sell rocking chairs he made.

Mary hears the commotion and anguished cries. She tells Jesus to do something.

Jesus goes to a barista and tells her to take the customer’s order: soy, no whip, skinny Caramel Macchiato.

“Name for the cup?” Jesus asks.

“Jill,” says the impatient texter glued to her smart phone. “Aren’t they out of coffee?” she asks while still texting.

“Jill, thank you,” says Jesus. He writes “Faith” on the cup and hands it to the barista.

Taking the cup, the barista says, “We don’t have any coffee to make this order.”

“Put some hot water in it,” Jesus says, “and complete the rest of the order.”

The barista completes a hot-water version of a soy, no whip, skinny Caramel Macchiato. “This is going to be one nasty tasting drink,” the barista mutters. Jesus hears.

“Faith, I have a soy, no whip, skinny Caramel Macchiato,” says the barista as she places the drink on the counter and turns to the next order.

“It’s about time,” says Jill with a snarl. Turning to the woman behind her Jill says, “Faith? Starbuck’s is always getting the names wrong.” The woman ignores Jill because she cherishes her relationship with a smart phone.

Jill takes a sip and stops with an astonished look on her face.

“I thought you said you were out of coffee? This is the best coffee I’ve ever had.”

The astonished barista looks bewilderingly at Jesus. He hands her another cup for a double shot, three vanilla pump latte. The name, again, is “Faith.”

“What happened?” the barista asks.

“Another day at St. Arbucks.” He smiles and takes the next order for “Faith.”


The parking lot attendant is a sage

It was a long day of traveling. Lisa and I had started the day in far western Kentucky (Wickliffe, to be precise), drove to Nashville and flew to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. We were now in the car for the ride home.

The weather was cooperating for the hour-long drive. For us, yesterday was the third day of nice weather. The sun was shining and the air was pleasant. It felt like spring was finally here. A week ago the weather was chilly when we left BWI, and it rained for much of the time in Paducah.

Before we could head home, we needed to exit the long-term parking lot.

The light was green above the attendant’s booth. I pulled up and handed the attendant our ticket. I tend to be an introvert and have to push myself to talk with people. I try to practice whenever I can.

“It’s a pretty day to watch the world go by,” I said to the booth attendant. Her name tag read Ernestine.

“Everyday is a pretty day when you wake up,” Ernestine said. “You know, 26 years ago I had ovarian cancer — stage 3 — and Jesus Christ healed me. Everyday is a pretty day.”

Amen…can’t argue with Ernestine’s outlook.

Makes me reflect on how fortunate and blessed I am. What about you?

Stormy and quiet Easter morning

It’s Easter morning in western Kentucky…Wickliffe to be precise. He is Risen!

An example of bad writing is “It was a dark and stormy night.” Well, it’s a dark and stormy morning. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. They woke me up at 4 a.m., but then my body thinks it’s 5 a.m. Sleeping in is not something I can do easily.

Fortunately, the lightning is far away, so there’s not the sharp thunderclaps that scare the you-know-what out out of you. It’s kind of neat seeing the flashes illuminating the dark morning. I imagine a lot of local pastors are scrambling to adjust their sunrise Sonrise services. It’s important to remember the true meaning of Easter. It’s not the pastor’s Resurrection message or Easter egg hunts that makes this morning special. It’s the knowledge and personal satisfaction Christians have that Christ died for us so we can have eternal life with the Father. Because of Jesus, believers stand sinless before a Holy and Just God.

The quiet and stillness of the early morning is also nice. Sitting back with my thoughts, just enjoying the solitude and the feeling of not having anything pressing to do.

Soli Deo Gloria.