Friday, September 11, 2009

WHAT happened at Starbucks?!

We began with, "For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them." And went on to say, "God is in you and He is in me. This is no less holy because of where we are. This is no less serious because of where we are. This place is no less holy than the most ornate cathedral..."

We were serious. We were earnestly acknowledging that God was the most important Part of this union. And we prayed for His presence and guidance till death do they part.

It was short but devout. I read John 15:5-17, encouraging them that what they most needed for their marriage was to remain in Him. And that God wants to use this holy union to be hope to the people around them--that this marriage is more than just them. God wants to use this new team to impact their world. I got to speak more candidly, more seriously, more intimately than in typical weddings.

A holy moment... Sitting on a bench on the terrace of Starbucks on Alto Road.

Maybe this is catching you off guard. It did me too. As a minister, I understand my calling, to be responsible to God. So I chewed on it.

I concluded that who we are, what we're about, and our motives (the things "inside the cup") are far more important than geography.

And ironically I have married couples in church whose countenance did not seem as earnest as it felt this morning in front of Starbucks. In my spirit, it felt good and right.

They first met at that location, just on the other side of the wall from where they said their vows. I thought of how in the Old Testament people marked places where God had done profound works. I could see the parallel.

We talked for a long time afterward. They plan to forgo cable for their first year of marriage. (WHAT??!!) So they can learn more about each other and read more about how to have a good marriage. (Are you kidding?) They are on the right track. God's speed.

After they left, I sat down in the sun and began to read. A few minutes in I looked up and saw this:

Wow...years ago I worked there. Before it was Grindstone Charlies, I worked at Rax in my early twenties. How shall I say it? A time when God was much less of a concern to me than He is today. It feels like a lifetime ago.

And here I am across the street and lifetime away from my past--now marrying a couple the age that I was then. The words of Jerry Garcia never cease to be true, "What a long strange trip it's been."

It was one of the moments...seeing into my past and present simultaneously...and knowing without a incredibly good God has been to me and how infinitely blessed I am. It's beyond my ability to thank God enough. And it's with salty eyes that I land this post.

Love to all...


p.s. Of course I brought my camera: see pics ;-) And an employee took a picture. Why do I think we're going to show up in an internal Starbucks Employee News Letter? ;-)