There was a machine in the break room, they said…a Starbucks machine.
We had exactly fifteen minutes to find it and return to our stations.
Evidently everyone else on this huge campus had the same need…the line looked like the check out at WalMart after 9:00 PM.
I got in the line and waited my turn to buy a cup of hot comfort, no cream.
This was a very uncomforting place for many of us..we had been bankers, managers, administrators, business people with careers… and now we were here ….for minimum wage and no future.
We were already broken and embarrassed as we recognized each other and tried to pretend we weren’t really at the end of all of our ropes.
A little coffee would help…
I had six minutes left on my break when my turn came…I was $1.50 away from feeling semi-human again.
The machine would not take either of the only two one dollar bills I had.
No matter how I straightened, flattened, rubbed, or begged, the machine would not receive my offering.
I didn’t want to just give up, but I couldn’t hold the whole line of comfort seekers up either.
Time was not on my side.
Just as I slid the two worthless dollars back in my jeans, she appeared out of nowhere.
She had sat next to me all morning in class and she was one of the primary reasons I needed comfort.
She never shut up and she had taken to grabbing my hand and my computer mouse to “help” me through the course.
In the prior two hours she had disclosed her entire family history, her medical records, her religious views, and her stated goal of the day, which was to “make me smile”.
I desperately wanted to strangle her.
Now, this thorn in my flesh stood next to me with eight quarters in her hand…”trade me”, she offered.
I did….and smiled as I saw the cup drop and begin to fill up with black redemption.
“I knew I’d get you to smile this morning!”
I couldn’t choke her with one hand while holding my coffee with the other, so I nodded in agreement.
As the coffee cleared my head The Holy Spirit spoke of what her goals for the day were….and what mine were.
She wanted to bless someone, I wanted to survive and be left alone.
I carried a leather pouch full of quarters to work with me the next day…maybe I can do both.
Make your own application…