Asking, part 1

IMG_8930It was a hipster coffee shop called Thump. They roast their own coffee beans, of course. I bought a bottle of Kombucha because I wanted something cold and because I don’t drink coffee. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it. It promised me strawberry lemonade and delivered an earthy mixture of flavors unfamiliar to my Southern palate.

The wooden tiles hung from the ceiling, just high enough to avoid my head. It was a time when average height comes in handy. My friend Jeff, who’s 6’7”—or is it 6’9”— would have had to duck, I’m pretty sure.

“I wish love was easier to find,” said the words on a tile. I read a few tiles and was struck by how they seemed like prayers. Hopes, dreams, wishes. Written in sharpie. Suspended from the ceiling. Dangling in the air. Tossed about by the air conditioner. Faded by the sun. But prayers. From the heart.

The one that said, “We all have eternal life, the only question is … WHERE WILL WE SPEND IT?” reminded me of the guy sitting at a table in the park with a sign for free Bibles.

I wondered about the people who wrote them, and to whom they were written. The air? God? A supreme being? The community? And what would happen to them once Thump no longer existed.

What does a person believe will happen when he writes his dream on a tile for the world to see? Is that person passing through town, never to return? Is that person a weekly customer? Someone who meets clients for business meetings? Someone who is homeless, but needs to belong?

Many of the tiles spoke of personal requests or wants, while others were sacrificial, like “I wish for healthy knees for B. Roy.”

It made me think about the dreams in my heart that I don’t share out loud. I was struck by how willing people were to share their wishes with the wide world.

As believers in Jesus, do we ask? Do we write out or speak the prayers of our hearts and submit them to his goodness? Or do we hold them close to our hearts in fear of being disappointed? Do we share only the comfortable bits of our heart with God, the one who already knows us on the inside?

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