Just over a week ago, I was sitting in a local coffee shop. It’s a place Liz and I visit frequently on my day off, enough that the workers behind the counter know our names. I guess that makes us “regulars.” Yet this visit was unlike any I had previously had.
When I walked in, the place was bustling with people. I waited patiently in line, got my coffee, and was fortunate to grab a corner booth away from most of the foot traffic. I pulled out a book to read and was getting settled in for a casual morning.
While sipping on coffee and with my head buried in a book, I suddenly heard a loud smash! Windows shattered, the coffee shop shook, and a loud commotion erupted throughout the entire place. There was a panic in the room, and everyone jumped to their feet to assess what had just happened and whether or not they were safe.
I joined in with the crowd and soon realized an elderly lady had pulled into one of the handicap parking spots, but had accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. Her car came flying through the side window of the coffee shop, causing this great ruckus.
Thankfully, in the midst of this busy morning, no one was sitting at the table by the window where the car came through! Amazingly, no one was hurt. Even the elderly lady was okay.
With the entire restaurant of people observing, the elderly lady looked up from her steering wheel in embarrassment and gave a little smile and a small thumbs up. The coffee shop then burst out in cheers! It was quite a sight.
In the fifteen minutes following this incident, I was amazed to see everyone jump in to help. A crew of coffee drinkers teamed up to help the employees pick up the glass that had flown throughout the entire place, another group helped the manager board up the window, and another group helped the elderly lady out of her car, sat with her, and brought her some coffee while waiting for her family members to arrive. There was even a group that prayed a prayer of thanks that no one was hurt.
Throughout the whole experience, I never heard a person complain. Not a single person seemed “put off” that their casual morning had been disrupted. Instead, this unfortunate disturbance resulted in a room of strangers moving together through the emotions of fear, relief, celebration, and restoration, teaming together to serve and help out how they could. It was a beautiful sight.
A story like this will never make it on the news, yet I’m convinced there are hundreds of “feel good stories” for every negative news story we hear. While evil and discouragement seem to make the headlines, it’s good for us to acknowledge and point out the love and camaraderie that is still all around us!