I was headed back home after visiting family, so I got up early one morning to get some coffee before getting on the road. I walked into a coffee shop and went to the counter to place my order. I was in a great mood! Though I always enjoy spending time with my parents, I’m always excited to get back home. It’s a long drive, but it gives me an opportunity to listen to Christian radio, books on tape, and podcasts to pass the time.
I’m a big coffee drinker, and I like for my coffee to be very hot. I don’t want to purchase a cup of coffee, leave, and find that it’s lukewarm before I can finish drinking. So, I always order extra hot coffee. I placed my order and requested it to be extra hot. To my surprise, the cashier looked at me with anger and responded sarcastically, ” Is 200 degrees hot enough for you?” I was shocked! The server standing next to her looked shocked as well. I watched her mouth drop open and saw a stunned look on her face. There aren’t too many things that frustrate me, but rude customer service is one of them. I was the only one in the shop at the time, so I had nothing to compare this too. Was she just rude to me? Did she treat everybody this way? My mood suddenly took a plunge. I held my tongue, not wanting to cause a scene, and politely said, “If that is as hot as I can get it, that will be fine.” She took my order, and I went to a seat, and I sat down to collect myself, and calm down before getting on the road.
While sipping on my coffee, I looked up at the door and saw three police officers walk in to order coffee. Immediately I heard the Lord say for me to pray for them, but I was still stunned by the behavior of the server and had trouble collecting my thoughts. I was shaking from head to toe. When I looked at them, I saw the expressions on their faces and hesitated. They did not look inviting. They looked stoic and cautious, and quite frankly intimidating. So, I decided I would wait a minute to see if I could make eye contact with one of them and then offer to pray.
They placed their order and sat down at the table next to me. I kept glancing at them to see when a good time would be to make the offer. I was in my head and not in the Lord. All kinds of crazy things started running through my head. I thought what if they rejected my prayer? I know from experience that prayer can be given with good intentions, but it’s not always well received. Also, with so much division in the African-American community, I was terrified as well. They were not African American. I knew this was what the Lord wanted me to do but I was terrified. So to buy some time, I kept watching and waiting to see if the door was going to open for me to step in and pray. Finally, I felt the time was right. I looked up and smiled and was about to speak when I was met with a cold stare. Suddenly I thought, well it’s now or never. I said, “Have a good day, and be safe out there.” I thought to myself, what are you doing, that’s not prayer! I was met with a cold stare and a barely audible grunt, as they turned around and left the shop. Yikes! I thought. I felt terrible. I prayed for them in silence as they walked out the door. All the way home I beat myself up for not praying with them in person. Though I did pray, there may have been someone in that group that needed to hear that prayer. To know that there was someone who cared. I messed up this opportunity that the Lord presented and prayed that he would give me another chance. Well, thank God he did!
Yesterday while in a little coffee shop, I noticed a police officer walking in and going to the counter to place an order. Immediately I knew that this was my second chance. I thanked the Lord for the opportunity and vowed not to pass it up. I watched the officer walk in and observed her from a distance talking with the cashier and placing her order. I was shaking like a leaf. To be sure that this was what the Lord was asking me to do I said to the Lord, “Lord if this is someone you want me to pray for I need a push.” Suddenly I felt something like a wind that grabbed me and pushed me out of my seat. I walked up to the officer and said, “Do you mind if I pray for you? “She said, “Who can refuse that?” I said, “What would you like me to pray about?” She said, “We’re supposed to close on our house this Friday. “ So I prayed.
I was so excited that the Lord gave me a do-over.
Has the Lord ever given you a do over? If so, select comment and tell me about it.
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6