In high school, I found a passion (maybe an obsession) for supporting local coffee shops. There is just something about holding a beautifully-crafted cup of coffee while you plop down in a seat to get work done, catch up on some reading, or even talk to a friend. Coffee shops are a haven. A place of peace. But today I learned the true purpose of coffee shops: to connect to the community around you.
I spent this chilly Friday morning in a local Newport coffee shop. My intention to get a head start on studying for midterms in a place that wasn’t on Northern Kentucky’s campus. I wanted a different environment (or maybe just a delicious latte) to motivate me. When I arrived at the coffee shop, I was immediately intimidated by how busy it was. In fact, there was not a free table in sight. I started to gather my things to leave when one of the baristas stopped me and guided me to the bar where there was one empty seat. It was a tight spot, definitely not one that was meant to be filled with a bunch of large textbooks, but it was the last spot in the shop and it was saved just for me.
I sat my backpack on the floor and reached for my textbook but found myself reaching for my bible study book instead. At that moment I opened my bible and started on my devotionals for the week. I was diving deep into the Word when an older gentleman walked up to me. He kindly asked me what I was reading and before I knew it we were sharing our own personal journeys with one another.
The man expressed to me that he was in his late 50s and that in each day he continues to learn more about the lord. “We are always learning.”
We are always learning. Each moment of our lives brings us new opportunities, new memories, new lessons, and new relationships. Even in a small coffee shop in Newport, Kentucky I was able to learn.
There is definitely a community in coffee shops. Each individual carefully placed in the same shop at the same time, each one with the potential to inspire one another. I encourage all of you to not only support local businesses but also support the community around you. Say hi to a stranger, give them a compliment, and make them smile. You never know what interactions you will face and what lessons you will learn.