This morning I ventured out of my normal Wednesday morning routine and I stopped by the Caribou Coffee near my office in Edina. [Sorry Mocha Monkey] As I entered today, Ash Wednesday was on my mind. This day does mark the start of the 40 day journey to Easter (40 days excluding Sunday’s for they are not part of Lent).  On my way to Caribou, I passed several churches with Ash Wednesday signs advertising their worship services.

caribou coffee When I entered Caribou, I noticed a group of three ladies, right inside the door, at a small table.  They all had their Bibles out and were in deep conversation about God’s Word. I ordered my cup of coffee.   As I was waiting, I  overheard two men behind me in line.  One of them said, “It’s a good thing we got together today we can have some prayer time here this morning before we dive in.”  My coffee arrived, a medium Flavor of the Day – black with no wasted space for cream.  I found a table by the window and set up my laptop.  As I did, I noticed directly in front of me, a group of men with Bibles on the table having a conversation.  Before long they were talking about prayer requests and bowed their heads in prayer.  Just beyond them the table with the Ladies Bible Study group also began a few minutes of prayer, heads bowed as they held hands under the table.

Now I am scanning the whole room.  There is a gentleman sitting alone in the corner of the room in one of the easy chairs – a newspaper on his lap and a Bible in his hand.  He also stands out in this room for the ash-smudged cross on his forehead.

I didn’t know it when I walked in, but this must be the Caribou Prayer room.  What an exciting way to start the day, a cup of hot coffee and a room filled with travelers on a journey of faith.  It is a long and often hard journey and I am amazed at how their very presence in this room lifted my spirits.  All around me was evidence of faith seen in the context of a coffee shop.

Jesus tells us to let our “light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

We are also told by Paul that we “shine.” “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” Philippians 2:14-16 When we live a life blameless and pure we help to light this darkened world as we shine like stars in the universe.  I would add that reading your Bible or praying together in a group or as a family in public does indeed hold out the light of hope in a darkened world.

Thank you Caribou Christians – you made my day!

<>< Craig