We’re driving from Oklahoma to Iowa, through sunshine, road construction and rain.
Sitting in the passenger seat reading, my eyes grow heavy. The book falls. Then Southern Gal drifts onto the rumble strips and I wake abrupt and start the cycle all over again; read, sleep, wake.
“Coffee. I need coffee.” My words are emphatic. Guilty. Sleeping in the middle of the day is evidence of improper caffeine consumption so I find my phone and locate the nearest coffee shop.
Glancing again at my phone, I notice that while I slept, my buddy had sent me a message so I type back, groggily: Sorry. Fell asleep. Getting Starbucks soon so I’ll stay awake.
His reply caught me short.
“You can’t go to Starbucks. At least, that’s what people are saying these days if you wanna be a good Christian. Starbucks supports gay marriage.”
I scan the article moments later. In it, Barton says: “If you know that when you buy a cup of Starbucks, 5, 10, 15 cents is going to be used to defeat marriage, can you do that? The answer is ‘no.’”
We’re ten miles away from the Starbucks, the one and only coffee shop in the vicinity, when I realize I have a choice to make.
Weariness boils inside me, hot like rage.
All I know is I’m suddenly tired of everything being so complicated and people telling me to “do this” and “don’t go there”.
First, it was the Chick-Fil-A debacle. Then Abercrombie & Fitch. Then Starbucks.
And although each cause has worth, I’m tired of Christians lining up and protesting and boycotting because I’m convinced of this:
So we build a fence around us.
Shout from behind its white walls.
Separate ourselves. We’re better, you know.
We’re better than those sinners over there at Starbucks and Abercrombie so we hold up signs touting negativity and in the process, we wallow in a bit of hatred and in the recesses of our minds, we tell ourselves that no, our sin of hatred isn’t nearly as great a sin as the sin of those we protest against.
And during this process, we somehow manage to forget sin doesn’t come with a numerical value of awfulness attached to it. We forget the ground is level at the foot of the cross. “Blessed are the peacemakers” and “this world is not your home” have been forgotten also.
The GPS guides us to Starbucks. My wife, she smiles at the kind lady helping us. Tells her to have a great day.
Driving away, I sip the black coffee and it feels like warm peace and I wonder what would happen if we’d have the occasional Bible study there, in their comfy leather chairs with the aroma of espresso igniting our conversations.
“5, 10, 15 cents is going to be used to defeat marriage” the words come to my mind.
And then I remember the words of a grey-haired man who said: God is more concerned with how we spend 10 minutes than how we spend $10.
When the pros and cons are weighed in my mind, I decide ten minutes of exhibiting kindness and love is far better than standing behind a picket fence in sin.
The coffee, it’s just an added blessing.
What do you think? Does it matter where you buy your coffee?
Photo courtesy of James Maskell