Bob: Barista and Pastor
Bruce Crockett of Redmond, OR, USA
The Spirit of the One you follow is the spirit of love and peace. That Spirit seeks to abide in the hearts of those who would embrace its call and live its message… -Doctrine and Covenants 161:7
According to Webster’s Dictionary, two definitions for the word “companion” are a person who often associates with another and a person in an intimate relationship with another. In spiritual companioning a relationship may begin with the first definition and gradually move to the second. The benefits may be mutual; one person is no more important than the other, thus the wish for frequent association and permission for vulnerability.
I am an evangelist and a spiritual companion. But I, too, need a companion. Recently I found one in the local village coffee shop-the man who works behind the counter. The coffee shop is not like a large chain coffee bar. There are no lines, just friendly conversation for a few minutes each morning as Bob pours the coffee and the conversation begins.
Bob, the barista, is a retired house painter and former owner of a coffee shop. I have learned all about his careers, his family, his challenges, and his spiritual life. He has learned all about my challenges and spiritual life as well. Bob is a member of a small congregation, 12-14 people, as am I. So our relationship has moved from definition one to definition two in a short time. Each morning I look forward to a cup of coffee and a visit with Bob.
This morning, a man entered the shop as Bob and I were visiting. Bob introduced him as Pastor Dale, Bob’s pastor. Pastor Dale and I greeted each other warmly with a hand shake. I turned to Bob and said to Pastor Dale, “I would like you to meet Pastor Bob.” And Pastor Dale replied, “Yes!” with affirmation. For in my understanding of definition two, I receive spiritual companioning and pastoral care from “Pastor” Bob, the coffee shop host, and my new companion on the journey. We listen to each other, and we support each other as companion disciples of Christ.
I feel I have always received more than I have given in my ministry. I am humbled by the weaving of the Holy Spirit in these moments of bonding. With all the negativity in the world there are many more positives that happen every day in simple companioning, where God is present through others.
I surrender into your love, O God.
What might it look like to surrender a little to God each day? A simple prayer of surrender can help us become aware of God’s consistent invitations to deeper relationship and awareness. Imagine when you encounter a challenging person or situation silently uttering this prayer, “I surrender into your love, O God.” The same prayer can be meaningful in moments of joy and gratitude as a way of returning to the awareness of oneness with God. It’s ok if we don’t surrender everything all at once all the time. The prayer of surrender is a constant practice of returning little by little to the deepest love that is the ground of our being and desires wholeness and oneness for us and all creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.