The Parable of the Coffee Hour

Updated: Mar 6, 2021








The man stood with his hands in the pockets of his tattered winter jacket, on the edge of the busy coffee hour after church. He wore a red “visitor” nametag. Somewhat out of duty, I approached him, welcomed him. He said he had money for the collection plate but didn’t know where to put it. I told him he could save the money and bring it next time. (The collection had already been collected, counted and taken to the office.). He insisted he wanted to give it because he had walked to his car to get it. I’m sure he had seen the embarrassing basket where people are asked to make a donation for coffee. He put the small handful of coins there. There was a wall between us, of course; the have and the have not, the one who belongs and the stranger, the man and the woman, the overdressed and the underdressed.


And yet, this connection; both of us wanting to fit in, to contribute, to be called by name, to do the right thing, to move from the edges, to be seen, to breathe, to sip coffee freely, to be known.


“Sometimes when I consider the tremendous consequences that come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.” Bruce Barton

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