4/12/13 Dan about 25
Why are there so many people hanging out alone at the coffee shop, busy on their computers, when most have their own internet connections and can make their own coffee at home? I believe that deep down most are bored or lonely and would love the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation if someone would just come up to them and take the initiative. With this in mind I initiate Gospel conversations with people, and more often than not I find it is true. Today a young man named Dan, hard at work on his computer, agreed to answer my “interesting question”. Five minutes later, he closed his computer lid. An hour later, we were still talking, even though our religious beliefs were a world apart. One key to a conversation like this is to ask good questions and be a good listener. I found out Dan grew up Catholic, veered into a science-oriented belief system, became more open to a spiritual dimension at the passing of his grandmother a year ago, and is bitter toward evangelical Christians after some Pentecostal relatives caused some arguments with her before her passing. He has read the New Testament, but doesn’t understand it. As he described his beliefs it sounded more like the “circle of life” universal energy source, like the tree in the movie “Avatar”. Based on what he told me and where he is at in his spiritual understanding, I could focus on what he really needed to hear, which in my view was developing a basic foundation of who God has revealed Himself to be and the nature of our relationship with Him according to the first chapters of Genesis. This takes time and hard work, both to listen and to talk, and the progress is not usually immediate or apparent. It takes faith, which is described in Hebrews 11 as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” In fact, the same chapter says that “without faith it is impossible to please God”. So my encouragement is to go to your neighborhood coffee shop, and reach out on faith. It is pleasing to God, and I know Dan appreciated it. So will most of the other bored and lonely people you will find there, looking so busy on their computers.