Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

I “tried” Jesus…

–“No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda

–You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13

–“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” -John 15:9

People will say, “Don’t talk to me about Jesus. I tried Jesus. Didn’t get me anywhere.”

And I think…”Tried Jesus?” What does that look like? Like a kid taking one bite of something, screwing up his face, and pushing the plate away?

Or maybe…like the first time I had coffee in Europe.

I was newly settled in Paris, banished behind a barricade of textbooks, when an older Viennese woman at the hostel approached me and invited me…to join her at a cafe! My heart wept and leapt! My teenage vision…me, outfitted in sleek black a la Hepburn, deep in debate with a cadre of existentialists around a table wreathed in smoke and jazz…was about to come true! This North Dakota farm girl had finally…ARRIVED!

Once installed, Erika ordered “un cafe.” I did likewise, expecting…a coffee bearing some resemblance to a cuppa from the US.

What naive me had not anticipated was…an espresso.

I took one look and thought, “Oh. no.” I wanted so badly to appear sophisticated, completely at ease in this cosmopolitan setting. So, with an insouciance I was not at all feeling, I picked it up and took my first…tentative…tiny sip…

AAAAAAAAACK!!!!! screeched my taste buds.

I willed my face into an expression of absolute composure, and continued to nod sagely as Erika expounded on…I really have no idea what…

SCREEEEEEEEECH!!!!

I gently set the cup back in the saucer, grateful for the breather. Leaning back, I observed her closely, trying to gauge when etiquette would require a second sip…okay…here we go…

Oh.

Hmm…that was…not bad. In fact…that was…interesting.

No screech.

Bitter at first, but then…a symphony of flavors!…a new complexity to discover…

A third sip, and my mind…taste buds…and heart…opened up a little more. By the time we left…

I had fallen in love with coffee.

And that’s how…five years later…a different invitation…

led to fellowship…

to the Word…

to a tentative, tiny prayer.

In small, incremental sips/steps…

I took in the message of Jesus.

A new Complexity to discover.

Until the moment came, and I realized…

I had gone from “trying Jesus…”

To loving Him.

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