So I was up at 5:45 when the garbage truck stopped by. Couldn't get back to sleep so I decided I'd go to ye old Panera to get some work done. Ah, the beauty of free wi-fi is like a crisp spring day . . . or just freakin' awesome. The guy I knew the best from my brief employment still works there. Keith is 21, grew up in the area, and works about 50 hours a week at the store. He's my only real connection from when I worked here. Keith is rough around the edges, plays in a hardcore metal band, and peppers his conversations with a flurry of F-bombs [this might sound sadistic, but I actually enjoy being with regular people who aren't afraid to cuss around a minister]. But he's really a quality guy. Anytime I come in to the store he refuses to charge me for my food. About a month or so ago I took him out to dinner to catch up on things. Our conversation led to the topic of spirituality [his doing, not mine] and I had a chance to share my view of Christianity. He's said he wants to stop by and visit Echo, but hasn't quite made it yet.
I still wonder why God led me to work at this Panera for those few months in our transition to Echo. It really makes little sense in retrospect. Sure, I now appreciate the opportunity to get paid soley for doing ministry but I didn't make tons of local contacts that joined our church. I learned how to make a good cappuccino, but it hasn't come in handy in reaching the community for Jesus.
But I did meet Keith. And maybe that's enough.