Thursday, July 16, 2015

Coffee and Community

I am not a coffee drinker. 

This is a shocking revelation for many of you, but it's true. I'll drink a coffee drink on occasion (e.g. if there is no tea or soda option available). Coffee smells wonderful, but I can only drink it if it's loaded with real sugar and at least equal parts of milk.

But I do have a coffee story. A recent one. 

Earlier this week I attended a retreat of sorts. Led by Robert Benson it was titled "The Rule of Saint Whatever Your Name Is". It was inspirational. It was informative. It was thought provoking. It was exhausting.

Around 7 o'clock on Tuesday night as we were preparing for our final exercise for the day (and Robert was bemoaning the absence of espresso) we all began to express our overload of thoughts and feelings and desires. We were exhilarated but tired. Oh so tired. 

We scattered to our workstations to finish this last step in deconstructing our daily lives. The final day of the retreat was set aside for reconstructing, or sewing our lives back together. While we struggled and wrote, erased and wrote differently, Robert walked to the local Starbucks to pick up a double espresso. 

As we were questioning choices about life work, Robert was walking to Starbucks questioning his motives. Was he headed for espresso just for himself, or was this an act of prayer or community or renewal? Was it just work? 

He returned as we were completing the assignment ladened with 6 double espressos, 6 bottles of Pellegrino, and 4 bottles of San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages. His desire (and need) for a restorative espresso led to an act of community by providing for us all! 

At that moment, coffee took on a whole new meaning. 

linking up with Writer's Workshop


  1. What a neat story, Melanie! Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    I'll bet it was interesting to get to hear Robert Benson teach. Have you read his book Dancing on the Head of a Pen? (I did a review of it on my blog). It's a good read.

    Thanks, again, for sharing this simple story that illustrates how easy it is to think of blessing others as we go about our days.

    Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Coffee is a wonderful way to break the ice and to reinvigorate - even if you are not partaking. It's the act of sitting down and sharing.

  3. Cool story. Sound like an interesting retreat.

  4. I've never heard of him before -- I'll have to look him up. This sounded like quite the experience and definitely a memorable one!! How cool was it to sit there and work on an exercise like that together -- I'd love to do something like that. Coffee or not!


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