I have had dreams of being a coffee shop pastor. I see myself in a coffee shop talking to people, sharing in the Word, drinking coffee and eating scones—breaking bread together like Jesus and his disciples did at the last supper. This coffee shop is a place where people connect with social justice issues, get informed and join others to make a difference in the world. So when I was able to land an internship with Josh Taylor at AxumMarketplace I was excited beyond belief. It was a dream come true.
And it still is but here is the scoop: this internship is really hard. Running a coffee shop is intense! The details involved are endless: inventory, restocking, new hires, firing, knowing how to make good coffee (making lattes, espresso and cappuccino is an art and takes lots of training), food preparation, food presentation, employee time sheets, machine operation and maintenance, employee relations. The list could go on. There is so much to learn.
I took the early morning shift. I work every Monday from 5:30am until 11:30am. Josh said it usually takes an employee 3 months to become proficient in the job and I will work only the equivalent of two full work-weeks. One of my goals was to learn to be humble. I scored on that goal!! I find myself making mistakes. I have never worked in the service industry. Actually never operated a cash drawer. So this experience is humbling. It is much harder to do than I anticipated. Every Monday morning for six hours I experience what it is like to make mistake after mistake. What is really helpful for me is the way Josh relates to his employees. He is always patient. He is always encouraging. And his guidance is not demeaning. He shows grace to everyone—not just to paying customers. His staff benefit from his grace as well.
So, the internship is hard. I am glad it is hard. I am learning so much more than how to run a coffee shop. I am learning how to bring faith into practice in the midst of working in a coffee shop. I think that counts as making sacred a space that, if run by someone not of The Faith, would make it a profane space. I see God redeeming that place through the life of one human willing to go through the pain of hard work.