It's A Grind Coffeehouse..

That's where I am right now.

Nate just left.
Who is Nate, you might ask?

Well, Nate is the middle aged man who leaned over to me and said, "Did you see him?"

To whom I replied, "No, Who?"

"Nick Nolte...the father from the Hulk. Have you seen the Hulk?"

"No, I haven't," I reply.

"Well He's the father from the Hulk. I see stars all the time. Matter of fact, there are a few rap stars that live right over there (points toward the carwash. I wanted to say Hi to him. But, I figured he probably didn't want to be bothered. I wish the internet was working, I want to find a picture of him and make sure. I think his name is Nick Nolte. I'm so bad with names."

"Yeah, I'm so bad with names too. I probably wouldn't have recognized him, even if I had seen him, I'm not good with faces either. Terrible memory," I say.

"So what do you do?" He asks.

"I'm a student."

"Well, enjoy it while you can. Hey, here's my card. I work in renewable energy. Maybe you'll need it sometime."

(I desperately try to think of a time when I might need to utilize the card he is giving me. Can't find one.)

"Thanks," I say.

(About 5 minutes pass, I go ask about the internet. I sit down. We discuss how if we had the internet, we could find a picture of Nick Nolte, and confirm suspicions. 5 more minutes pass.)

He leans over again, and says, "I don't mean to bother you. I know you are trying to work. But, I just wanted to say that you should...Do you go to church?"

"Yes," I answer, "I go to Rock Harbor, in Costa Mesa."

"Oh, I knew it. I can tell. Well, you should come to visit Saddleback, or watch us on the web, that's where I go. You might see me on stage. I'm on the worship team. I just wanted to ask, you know? I always want to make sure people are getting fed."

"Thanks," I say. "That's great. I really am glad you asked me. Good to know people are doing that."

"I wanted to ask him, Nick Nolte. I wanted to give him my business card. I wanted to invite him to church. I missed my chance. I should have."

(I think to myself, Nick Nolte probably cares as much about your business as I do. But, yeah, it would've been sweet to invite him to church.)

"Don't worry, I'm sure he'll come back in, especially since he seemed to remain inconspicuous the whole time he was here."

"Well, I'm here enough. I'm about to go leave for my third coffee meeting today. I don't need anymore coffee. I don't like the coffee here. It's too, (makes some funny face to say its too bitter, or something"

I nod my head in agreement.

"What's your name, by the way?"

"Annie, yours?"

"Nate. Annie, I might forget your name. But I won't forget your face. I have a photographic thing going on in my head. But I might forget your name."

"Yeah, I'll probably forget your name too. I'm terrible with names."
(I may have said "I'm terrible with names about 4 times throughout the course of the unabridged conversation.)

"Nice to meet you Nate. Enjoy your third coffee for the day. Hope it's better than the one your just had."

"Yeah, and visit Saddleback sometime. I never think its a mistake that we get invited to church. I never turn down an invitation anymore. The Lord will use something that was said. You might not know it then. But the Lord will use it. You may never know, but He will."

"So true. Thanks Nate. Have a great day, good talking to you."


I'm not one to just strike up conversations about church in a coffeeshop. I probably should. But, his methods were interesting, and intriguing to me. He engaged me with a tool of culture. He asked me about someone relevant in pop culture. Then he asked me about me, who I am, what I do. Then he asked me about church. It wasn't awkward. Unfortunately, celebrities don't matter to me, so I couldn't get excited with him about that...and I don't "do" anything, per say, except read books and write papers as a student. But, that method would be pretty effective with a majority of people. Evangelism isn't really a strength of mine...but today I was encouraged by Nate, who has found an effective way to engage people in conversation, to make sure they are being fed.

Perhaps the encouragement itself, outside of any church invitations, is what the Lord wanted to teach me through this interaction. I doubt I'll be going to Saddleback soon, especially since I leave in 2 weeks...which is hardly enough time at my own church here, Rock Harbor, currently engaged in a series about Spiritual gifts.

Mmm. Good. At least something good came out of the fact that the Mission Viejo Library doesn't open until 1pm. But seriously, counting the 13 minutes left until that glorious place opens. Love it.


Amy said...

I love this post! Stories like this make me smile. And Nate definitely gets me thinking about how much more I should do to make God's love known.

anita said...

Annie, thanks so much for your encouraging comment on my blog! i pray the peace and joy of Christ for you as you start the new school year at Taylor. :)