Writing my way deep into Chapter 17 of the book and there’s this young couple sitting at a table not so far from me in this coffee shop. As Explosions in the Sky streams through my red headphones from Pandora, with barely glancing eyes I noticed her hand moved quickly to wipe away some tears which look like they came before she was ready. Maybe it didn’t matter why she started to cry. Maybe you and I don’t need to assume the reasons, but she did her best to hold back those tears, while people around her chewed on bagels and drank their chocolate raspberry coffee.
“Doug!” the young man hollers from behind the counter. Doug’s egg and bacon wrap is ready, and an older man steps quickly to the counter to pick up his breakfast.
I forgot to wear it today. Every Tuesday I sit here in my “God Loves You” shirt, but not today. Just a denim button up was all I had to offer the world in this moment, substituting a message of hope for a little warmer clothing. Still, I could do something, couldn’t I?
A thought hits me. I grabbed my iPad and started searching for an image, for something. It’s the first one that popped up on my google search, so I adjusted my display to last as long as possible. With some sudden weird flutters in my stomach, I gently placed my iPad against the back of my laptop, facing the rest of the world around me.
An hour later, and after some more random tears, she and the man stood, and with a quick kiss goodbye, he opened the door and was gone. Sitting back down at that table, I caught her glance a few times at my iPad, while I kept my eyes glued as best I could on the throws of my latest work. We all have a story, and whatever her story was, it wasn’t really any of my business, but maybe just a little bit. I could only offer one thing, I could offer three words of encouragement, and three words this world most assuredly needs right now.
After about ten more minutes, she gently scooped up her purse, slipped on her coat, glanced one final time my iPad, and she’s gone. Maybe it didn’t mean anything for her, but I remember a time when I clung to those words, when I cried out to God for them to mean something in the tragedy around me. Whether its tears or laughter, I think it’s exactly what we need, and maybe somehow this might have brought a little hope to her today. I know it means something to me. Those three words. Nothing more. Nothing less. And its everything.
“God loves you.”