The Sparrow At Starbucks
I recently read something that made my eyes “sweat.” After all, men don’t cry, do they?
This article was awesome to say the least. And I wanted to share it with my dear readers and hope that it will be a blessing to you also.
The Song That Silenced The Cappuccino Machine
By John Thomas Oaks
It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it’s enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth.
For a musician, it’s the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I’m told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right. Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing.
It was a fun, low-pressure gig — I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the ’40s to the ’90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition of the classic, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along.
After the tune was over, she approached me.
“I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?” she asked.
“No,” I replied. “We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?”
To my delight, she accepted my invitation.
“You choose,” I said. “What are you in the mood to sing?”
“Well … do you know any hymns?”
Hymns? This woman didn’t know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look.
“Oh, I don’t know. There are so many good ones. You pick one.”
“Okay,” I replied. “How about ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow’?”
My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, “Yeah. Let’s do that one.”
She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing.
“Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come?”
The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.
“I sing because I’m happy; I sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me.”
HOLY MOMENT: When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall.
Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, “Oh, y’all go back to your coffee! I didn’t come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get somethin’ to drink, just like you!”
But the ovation continued.
I embraced my new friend.
“You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!”
“Well, it’s funny that you picked that particular hymn,” she said.
“Why is that?”
“Well…” she hesitated again, “that was my daughter’s favorite song.”
“Really!” I exclaimed.
“Yes,” she said, and then grabbed my hands.
By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual.
“She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week.”
I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence.
“Are you going to be okay?”
She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands.
“I’m gonna be okay. I’ve just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything’s gonna be just fine.”
She picked up her bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.
Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it.
God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it’s no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything’s gonna be okay. Now, doesn’t that make a tear in your eye?
Someone told me an interesting story that happened to him and I wanted to share it with you.
Bubba Jim said, “Sunday hunting was legalized last year for archery only. I did all my prep work… I scouted the area all summer… I searched out the best location for my tree stand… I set it all up a month ahead of time.. I trailed the herd… I picked out a trophy buck… Two days before opening day I rechecked every aspect of the hunt… Everything was in place…
Sunday morning, I woke up at 2 a.m.… I put on my camo, loaded my pack, set out for my stand… This was destined to be an epic hunt.
As I approached my deer stand… I changed my mind, decided to go to church instead.”
AMEN TO THAT!
Let’s pray a prayer of thanksgiving for Alyssa Morris who was involved in a moped accident last Friday night. She is sore, but doing fine. The consequences could have been tragically worse because she is with child (34 weeks now).
Let’s also pray for Hunter Taylor, grandson of Melinda Haney. He is two years old and having some serious medical issues.
Let’s pray for Gene Gregory, owner of Gene’s Fine Foods, who is having rehabilitation with a situation with his left foot.
Also, let’s pray for the many, many people who are victims of hurricane Sandy. A lot of misery, pain, needs, and destruction followed this storm.
Celebrating their birthday this week are Samantha Chasteen on Sunday, Nov. 4; Cody Steiner on Monday, Nov. 5; and Aubrey Parks (I know that guy!!!) on Tuesday, Nov. 6 (turning 65 and now able to get my discounts).
Now, I know that more people were born this week than us three. But no one will tell me who and when.
Anyway, I want to wish my fellow “birthday-ees” the blessing of our Father God be upon you and may this new birthday year be the BEST ONE YET!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, we have the opportunity to cast our ballot for the next president of the United States. I hope that every reader will fulfill his/her patriotic duty to vote. There are millions of people in our world that do not have that right and would die to get it.
The 2012 presidential election is going to change our country forever. Either we are going to come out of our woes or we are going to sink like the Titanic. The United States was once the mightiest nation in the history of man. Now we are struggling for survival.
Our country began as a God-fearing, God-worshipping, spiritual nation. Today, we see God’ commands being removed from public display. Prayer is now forbidden in public. Evil is everywhere to the point that thousands of South Carolinians are now carrying guns. Soon, English will be replaced as our primary language. Moral impurity exists everywhere and poisons the minds of our children. We are being attacked from within and from outside our borders.
Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Are we going to do nothing? “Oh, but my one vote will not matter.” If everyone said that the election would be useless. YES, YOUR VOTE DOES MATTER!!
If you do not vote, please do not complain about the challenges and setbacks in your life. You have given up the right to complain about the leaders of Union County, our state, and our nation. You have no right to complain about the president if you did not vote! You have no right to disagree with the future of our country if you did nothing to guide it. Not voting is about as un-American as a person can get! As an American, as a South Carolinian, as a citizen of Union County, please GET OUT AND VOTE!!
When you vote, do not base your vote on how good he looks, how much money he has, and most of all, his promises because promises can and will be broken. When you vote, do not forget who you belong to. If you are a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I hope and pray that as you go to the polls with Him standing beside you, you will listen to His voice. Our presence on this earth is extremely short compared to eternity in heaven or hell that will be extremely long.
Thoughts Of The Week
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.”
— Blaise Pascal
“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’”
— Deuteronomy 1:13.
“Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”
— Proverbs 25:26.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
— Romans 13:1.
If You Have Good News
When you see, hear, or make news, hear good, funny, and clean jokes, please email your news and jokes to me at email@example.com, call me at 864-441-2371, mail your news to me at POB 128, Buffalo, or stop me on the street. When you celebrate good things in your life, I would like to share that with the good people of Buffalo. You want to laugh. I want to laugh. So please make me laugh.
Until next week, may God bless you richly.