Coffee with Friends–Chapter 2

23 Jan

David’s voice breaks as he describes the reality of visiting the dwelling of a homeless man.  The impact of witnessing firsthand one individual’s battle to integrate beauty and civility in the midst of chaos and despair left a lasting impression. This contrast was perfectly exemplified by the cup of coffee David sipped as they conversed: boiled river water, mixed with coffee grounds from the dumpster of the local 7-11–served in a white porcelain tea cup.

The two hours went quickly as David listened to this man share his story.  His tone fluctuated between sadness, regret, anger, frustration, hope and longing.  As he concluded,  the significance of the moment became apparent to him as well and he asked a simple, yet sincere question: “Why did you come?”   “Because you invited me,” responded David.  “Also because I follow Jesus, and that implies doing what I think He would do if He were living my life–and I think Jesus would be right here drinking coffee with you.”

David’s answer seemed to satisfy his host as he reflected: “In the four years I have lived here, you are the first person who has ever come to visit me.”

This past Wednesday this man didn’t go to get the weekly meal with the other regulars.  But he did go to church Thursday evening–the church where our friends who began this feeding ministry attend.  He was bathed, neatly dressed and with his candy cart parked outside.  He stood up near the end of the service and testified that he’s been “clean” for two weeks and  knows God is doing something in his life.  The reason he didn’t show up the day before is that he wants to make enough money to buy his own food and support himself.

Our friends took him out for coffee after church.  Instead of scavenging the used grounds out of the trash outside, he was inside sharing a fresh cup of coffee with friends.  A simple, yet monumental transition.

The road to recovery is difficult and takes vast amounts of courage and divine intervention.  When you sip your morning coffee tomorrow, please say a prayer for a man who longs to break free from the choices and circumstances that have controlled his life for too many years.  Pray that he would be one of those who allows God to continue the good work He has begun in his life.

Please pray for the man who lives in the tent beside the arroyo.  And his name?…Jesús.

La Casa de Jesús


2 Responses to “Coffee with Friends–Chapter 2”

  1. J Steele January 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Even though I know that Jesus is a common hispanic name, it gave me pause thinking of the scripture “when I was hungry you fed me, when I was in prison you visited me…”
    Thanks for visiting and for sharing with us!


  1. Coffee with Friends–Chapter 3 « David & Karen Garcia - April 13, 2011

    […] to share coffee and conversation in his lean-to home on the shore of our Ensenada riverbed?  The last time David saw him it was to “rescue” him from the rising water after heavy rains. David (after falling […]

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