After a little afternoon crave for a coffee, it didn’t take long to convince myself before leaving town to pull off the main drag and drive up to the window to one of the best places to get a coffee in the small town of Quincy, Washington – “Gotta Have Java” …. the name fits for coffee lovers!
“Do you want whole milk or non-fat with that vanilla latte?” the blue-eyed barista asked. The tone of her voice seemed to match the twinkle in her eyes.
“Non-fat please,” I answered with a smile.
“Was that a single shot or a double? “she inquired as she grabbed the handle on the machine and twisted it to make the fresh brew.
“Make it a single shot, and by the way, I have an account under the name Debbie Kennedy.”
“Yes, I knew that,” she responded enthusiastically and continued to work on whipping up my order.
“How in the world do you remember so many faces, names, and orders? I mean…how many people must roll through this drive through coffee stand per day?” I asked, as I wondered. Cars were lined up on both sides of the stand – busy place! She wasn’t one of the baristas that was usually working when I drove through on occasion, so I didn’t know she would know my name. “Sometimes I don’t even remember my own phone number, “I joked with her and giggled as I shook my head.
I could see the other customer at the open window on the other side through the center of the coffee stand. She laughed along at the comment I made as well and gestured with her hands…like yah…. right?! Brain overload! And then she chimed in, “Yes, how do you remember everyone so well?!”
This sweet thing answered the both of us as she rang up my order on the cash register. “I don’t always remember the name. The faces and a lot of the drink orders are often repeats. So you get pretty good at remembering customers.”
I thanked her and gave her a tip before I pulled away. Oh, the sheer delight of a kind servant who knew my name. The dominate thought that seemed to almost hang in the air all around me as I drove back out to my office in the country was this…. to know and to be known. In a small town, it’s easy to know of people and their names, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean we know them. To be known is different. We grow close to others and get to know them more as we spend time in their presence.
Our relationships with family and friends are precious gifts to us – we are grateful and richer because of what they add to our lives. It seems like the longing increases for time with them when they are a distance away or perhaps are no longer with us here on earth, but in heaven - I’ve personally experienced both. The loss of my mother back in 2010, and also more recently, with my daughter relocating 2,000 miles away just over a year ago. My momentary moments of missing loved ones that come on occasion with no warning takes me to that place of longing. But just as soon as I lean inward, my heart is stirred and then soon overwhelmed by the Lord, the constant one who never ceases to fill and add to my life.
Words from Isaiah 43:10 – “You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am HE. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” Ultimately nothing and nobody can fill the deep longing in our soul that is only filled by knowing and believing that we are personally known and loved by God. What a beautiful reminder! Without consistently seeking to know Him more, believe Him more, and surrender to Him, we may more easily slip into prolonged states of longing (craving) for something or someone else to fill the number one place in our heart that can only be satisfied by Him.
By all means, get your coffee or tea! Add your choice of milk – almond, coconut…. the choices we have?! But friends, if you are reading this and feel forgotten today, be encouraged! May HE fill your cup! GOD knows your name! REMEMBER, HE chose YOU, loves YOU more than YOU can imagine. HE has something in mind just for YOU, but ultimately HE wants YOU to believe HIM and know HIM and understand that HE IS all YOU need. I know I need a double shot of HIM today – and YOU? What are you craving? I’m going to get honest and move beyond the crave for a coffee and ponder that.
1 Peter 2: 2-3: Like newborn babies, you must crave spiritual milk so that you will grow into full experience of salvation, now that you have tasted the Lord is good.