Before I got a job at a church, I worked at Starbucks for 6 years. While the life of a barista sure has its ups and downs, I really loved the job. What made Starbucks so great was the connections I got to make with my customers. Anyone that has worked at a coffee shop will tell you that there is something so special about your relationship with your “regulars” (the everyday customers). Over time, they become more than just a customer, they become a friend. One of these friends was a 25-year-old guy named Nick.
On the surface, Nick came off as outspoken, stubborn, and a little rude. But once you really got to know him, he was actually an incredibly caring, passionate, and hilarious person. Unfortunately, one of the things that he was most outspoken about was the Church. Being a gay man, Nick felt that the Church hated him and he wanted nothing to do with it or God. I spent a few lunch breaks talking to Nick about the lies that he had been told about how the Lord views him, but I never felt like I made a difference. Once I got a position on the high school team at my church, I quit Starbucks. After that, I would rarely run into him and didn’t really think about him at all.
Four days ago, Nick passed away.
This has rocked me ever since I heard about it. I’m not sure if Nick ever gave his life to Christ and that kills me. The Lord presented an opportunity to me over and over to share Christ with him and I didn’t do much with it. It has radically changed how I look at evangelism and ministry.
I have begun to constantly ask myself the questions that we should all be asking ourselves: “am I taking advantage of the opportunities that the Lord is providing?” It could be that friend you know is struggling but haven’t talked to yet. It could be that student that was sitting by themselves and you walked right past. This week, make it your prayer to see what the Lord is presenting to you and trust that He will give you the courage to follow through.
You guys, there is an enemy that is out to kill. The stakes are high. This is War.