Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Columbia's Catherine

The other day, I asked God to reveal more of his beauty to me. Whether it be witnessing a kind gesture from a stranger, or an amazing sunrise on the way to work

....little by little He has been faithful in this request.

She doesn't necessarily fit into a "box"....so I won't even try to fully describe her in words that would attempt to do so, but what I can say about my friend Catherine, is that she is a faithful, committed and a steadfast friend.... not only to me but to the rest of Columbia.

Before Meredith and I headed off to work last Friday, we decided to say our fair-wells to Catherine at Lakota (a coffee shop) where Catherine has worked for the last 4 years, because the next day she and her sister were moving to D.C. Little did Meredith and I know, that the rest of Columbia would be there that morning too, bright and early, ready to reminisce, say good-byes, and wish well their favorite barista in all of Columbia.

Sitting at the bar, Mere and I just watched her do what she has for the past couple of years. Meticulously scrape off extra foam from a latte or wipe down a counter, nothing TOO mind blowing. However, it was during this time that the most beautiful conversations began to flow from our side of the bar and into her "office."

"Catherine, do you remember the time we first met and you challenged my knowledge of music...like if I knew who Dean Martin or Bing Crosby were?" an older man inquired holding a newspaper up to his face.

He asked her without even needing to look at her... knowing she would faithfully respond... in some way.

She smiled and kept working...never offering him a defined answer.

He was still pleased with her choice of response.

More and more memories of customers' "first time meeting Catherine" spilled out over that counter, as Mere and I just sat there. In the beauty. In the memories. We were somewhat speechless.

What a beautiful thing it is when you see that it is someone's faithfulness that dictates the nature of a friendship....that dictates the feeling in the atmosphere. Not necessarily the kindness, or the humor, or the wisdom.... not saying Catherine does NOT embody these things....(however, she can be sassy sometimes)...but that it is the faithfulness to a place, or to a people, or to a job, that will be missed the most.

I am reminded of God's beauty and faithfulness in my own life from telling this story. His showing up when asked. His responding in interesting ways; ways that sometimes are not clear...but are nonetheless there. His serving me time and time again. His acknowledgement of my presence and meeting me where I was at.

I have no doubt that her knowledge of random musicians as well as film directors will be missed by some in Columbia.

As well as her ability to maintain some caffeine addictions.

But it will be her faithfulness, to events, to people, to ideas, to customers....that I will miss the most.

Psalm 89:2,8 "I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Oh Lord, God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you."