Sitting in a coffee shop in Hintonburg last week with all my attention focused on the completion of a report for an upcoming meeting, my deadline is today and I am thinking and writing furiously, when my attention is diverted to a very pleasant voice of the barista chatting up one of the customers.
In my experience, most baristas are rather pleasant – maybe it’s part of the job description, or maybe pleasant people want to serve delicious drinks to people and it’s natural thing, I’m not sure.
Anyway, this is beyond the ‘usual’ niceness– a college girl, super pleasant, she seems so genuinely caring in dealing with all the customers.
So now, I am struggling to concentrate and write my report, all the while half-listening to the barista fulfil the customer’s order, talk to him about his day, wishing him the best day ever, and I am losing my focus on my work. As I finish the sentence in my report, hey, I think ‘that voice sounds familiar, could it be?’
I look up from my report and YES IT IS – one of the graduates from our Passion 4 Youth art program!! No kidding! I haven’t seen her for two years!!
In a flash it all comes back to me. How she heard about our program, called us to see if she could be a part of our program (although she didn’t think she was very good at art), then joined our work skills program, then graduated, and next year will graduate Algonquin College with a diploma in animation .
I walked to the counter and she passed me a chocolate coffee drink (without looking up) and in a cheery voice, ‘This must be your drink?’ ‘No, I think it’s hers’, and she looked at me, looked again, quickly gave the drink to the lady beside me, and ran around the counter as fast as she could, threw her arms wide open, and gave me a great big hug, “Ken, I can’t believe it’s you.”
We caught up with news and so on, and tried to figure out how long since she had been involved in P4Y.
“You guys really helped me get through that time. Those were hard days. Really hard. You helped me so much.” We talked as much as we could (she had just come to fill in for a shift – her first time at that coffee shop) we exchanged contact information and she is going to come by the office, and we’re all going to go for lunch!
In that moment, in that encounter, it was as if all the world stopped, all troubles ceased, nothing else existed or mattered, and life was so worth it all – and it was good.
Question: A coffee shop I frequent rarely; her first time filling in a shift for another employee; the timing for both of us; me sitting close enough to hear and recognize her voice; What do you think? Coincidence or divine encounter? Think God arranges these kind of re-connections?