Happy Friday, Friends!
I’m sure you have heard the Taylor Swift song that seemingly references “Starbucks lovers.” I’m not sure I get it. Starbucks lovers. Is that a thing? I mean I love Starbucks and from time to time (when I’m writing a lot) I spend substantial chunks of my day there. Admittedly, from a taste standpoint, I strongly prefer Dunkin Donuts coffee, but Starbucks obviously doesn’t just sell coffee — they provide an experience and an inviting environment where lingering is encouraged. Dunkin Donuts, on the other hand, is the antithesis: horror of horrors, they even have televisions! Who wants to watch tv in a coffee shop? Who’s the cottonheaded ninnymuggins who came up with that bright idea?
Anyway, earlier this week I was at my local Starbucks, delighting over an extra hot chai tea latte and poring over my Bible study when a seventy-ish woman interrupted.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said, “I can see you are very engrossed, but I just wanted to tell you that I think it’s wonderful to see someone reading the Bible in a public place. I thought I’d tell you that Jesus is my Lord and Savior.”
I had no idea what to say to her.
“That’s wonderful,” I offered. But on the inside I felt a little disturbed. In fact, I had an indignant response that was vying for access to my vocal chords.
“What on earth are you talking about? This is America, lady. Reading the Bible in public is an everyday occurrence, isn’t it? Because frankly I think it’s a little scary you think it’s noteworthy.”
Thankfully I didn’t say anything else to this woman. She grabbed her coffee and moved along.
But I’ve been pondering this brief exchange and I think it paints an alarming picture. What does it say that it’s surprising to find someone reading the Bible in Starbucks?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says:
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
That’s The Message, Eugene Petersen’s paraphrase of the Bible, but I think we could justifiably add a line about studying God’s Word in Starbucks — “study and talk about the life-changing power of Scripture wherever you are, in whatever coffee shop you find yourself.”
Jesus’ own words are abundantly clear: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory.” Luke 9:26 ESV.
I’m so convicted by this verse. I want Jesus as my Starbucks lover. I want to never ever be ashamed to openly love the Person who knows and loves me best. Wherever I go I want my life to be one big Brach’s conversation heart, the one that says to Jesus: “I’m Yours.”
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s weekend. But most of all, I hope you know the Lover of your soul who knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Warmly (because it’s bitter outside),