This is not my story. My friend, Nadine Bailey, sent it to me. It was so cool, I wanted to share it with you, and I do so with her permission, unabridged… Bill Giovannetti
A funny thing happened on the way to Starbucks.
I was on my way into Starbucks to meet a work acquaintance that has also become a close friend. It was a rainy day and I was wearing my favorite red sweater. As always, in my overworked, blackberry, cell phone life I was in a rush as moved toward the door. As I got close to the front of the door I could see a group of people standing in a semi circle watching me as I approached. I young man in his twenties was smiling at me as if I were a long lost friend. In my job I meet many people and as I get older I don’t always remember them, so I smiled back and walked up to him to see if he was someone I knew. He introduced himself and told me that he and his friend were on trip to the United States and they were involved a treasure hunt and that one of the people they needed to meet was someone wearing a red sweater.
We talked for a few minutes and I learned that they were attending a weeklong mission trip at a local bible college and that this was part of the training to meet new people. Three of the men were from Asia and one woman was from France. They asked me if I knew a person called Jesus. I assured them that I did and we talked for a few minutes about China and the believer’s there and what it was like to worship underground, but how still God is moving in many hearts.
As I got ready to leave they asked if they could pray with me and for me and by the way did I happen to have a knee injury because that was also on the list. I said this is your lucky day, I have a really bad knee and yes it is the left one. They asked could we touch your knee as we pray? Now those of you that know my worship style know that I am as conservative in my worship as I am in my politics. No hands in the air, no clapping, I may sing a little but that’s about as far as I go. Also going through my mind is the thought of my work colleague sitting inside Starbucks as I am having this little meeting, maybe right by the window looking out.
When they asked me what I needed prayer for it takes me a minute to think of something because I am truly blessed. My knee pain has been with me for so many years I rarely think about it anymore. So I ask them to pray that I will be the listener and friend to the many people who I meet each day that are angry and hurt about the turn the world has taken, that I will always be a witness of the love that God brings to us in this troubled world. So there in front of Starbucks this small group of believers kneel at my feet and put their hand on my knee, and raise their other hand in prayer, for the whole world to see. It must have been quite a picture, me in my bright red sweater, all six feet of me, them kneeling at my feet, on a busy street.
In a few minutes it is over. We wish each other well and I go into Starbucks.
My friend is sitting in the back and I am not sure if he has seen the exchange and I don’t ask. We meet for an hour and when I leave they are gone and I go back to my busy over booked blackberry cell phone life. But I cannot stop thinking about that little group of people I met on my way to Starbucks and how they made me think about my God. I am a person of faith, but I rarely ever ask God to heal someone unless they are on their deathbed. I just hate to bother him for the little stuff. Tooth aches, knee pains all seem too trivial to bother him with, and because I have a tendency to do things myself, maybe just maybe, I am keeping those things for me? What if I had been in too much of a rush to stop and meet that small group of visiting believers, or worse what if I had said something unkind? How many times have I missed the blessings that God sends my way because I am in such a rush, or too proud. Later I thought about them I prayed that God would give me the wisdom to slow down, to catch those blessings that He puts along the way for me. That I would never be to proud to pray with others in public and for the freedom we have to do so. I also thanked him for the blessing he had sent to me on my way to Starbucks.
Oh and did I tell you that my knee pain is gone?