Sitting at the Starbucks in my neighborhood would be considered quite challenging for anyone who might have sensory challenges. On a typical day it can resemble a between classes campus hangout. The people are predominantly Amazon in origin with a random smattering of Microsoft and bio-tech thrown in for variety. I am, by my own observation, one of the few here who hasn't merely chosen to change wifi sources and office space to continue on in the pursuit of all things beyond the leading edge. It is an endless stream of people coming in together, ordering together, waiting together, then continuing the meeting that began somewhere else on the campus. Needless to say, there is no meditation going on in this space ... no crazy soul filled Jazz, no espresso hiss is discernible and little, if any, banter between barista and consumer.
On rare occasions that I brave the madness and get a seat, I immediately grab the ear buds and turn on the music. It began as a defense mechanism, but now continues by serving a greater purpose. With the ear buds in, all I can discern is this group of people, mouths all moving, hands gesturing, and legs posturing within the course of undoubtedly the most important conversations to ever be influenced by caffeine. I have a pair to my right in the midst of the interview of a lifetime. I have a pair to my right in some deep negotiating over the application of a software update. Many of them are in the midst of this generations version of multi-tasking, talking while texting. I don't say all this to belittle what is taking place here. They are obviously all important people doing vitally important work. It's just fun to watch, because without the benefit of the dialogue, each looks very much the same. A few are more relational in nature ... I can tell by the smiles ... Otherwise it is all quite intense ... In volume and in the amount of space being taken up.
I imagine as I'm sitting here, watching all of this that it could be a snapshot of the view that heaven gets of humanity. So many talking heads ... looking so much the same, doing so much the same, and yet at the same time, so different. I'm reminded though that heaven sees this through a different filter. Through their filter, the one labeled "image dei", everyone ...though appearing same, are so much different. I can look at all of these and wonder which matters and which doesn't. In heavens eyes, it all matters because they all matter. I can't begin to care enough about all of what is going on around me in this place. Heaven can't help but care enough. And that my friends is why this process of church planting is so much more dependent of God than on me. That is why following Jesus literally means following Jesus... Don't forget the headphones.