Spending time in a coffee shop sipping their horrendously foul brew is not always a complete waste of time. Many people you never see anywhere else are killing a little time, and looking for conversation.
A gentleman who comes in occasionally is generally ignored by the patrons, and even the waitresses spend little time with him; hello ... your order please ... and the usual hope-you-leave-a-tip smile. He is a rather small man in his mid-thirties with long stringy brown hair way past his shoulders, slightly paunchy, heavily scarred face, and a right eye that seems to meander without any specific purpose. He usually sits across from me at the counter (15-20' ft. away,) but one morning he plopped down on a stool beside me without uttering a word, or looking my direction.
I decided to make an effort to engage him in conversation:
"Hello, how are you today?"
No response. Okay, perhaps he didn't hear me, lets try again;
"Hello, hows things going?" (spoke with a little more gusto.)
This time he mumbled something; have no idea what. Okay, were gaining, lets try once more;
"Nice day huh?"
His first decipherable words were softly whispered;
Within minutes he was conversing quite well, and I discovered he had been in a car accident when he was only seventeen years old that put him in a coma for two years. He said it was his fault; he had been drinking. As a result of the accident the right side of his face is completely paralyzed (reason enough for a meandering eye.) He still doesn't say much to anyone, but he will nod in my direction when he's in the cafe, and occasionally speak to me.
Bad choices we make, even as teenagers, can often haunt us throughout our remaining days. This man knows other people ignore him because of his appearance, so he responds with silence. Over time perhaps God can work through me (or some other person) in such a way that this man will understand that Jesus died for him, God loves him, and his future can be unimaginably wonderful.