Twice this week I’ve had friends of my mine send me links or suggestions to find out more about “suspended coffees“, that it might be something I could do as part of my Random Acts of Kindness. The basic premise of “suspended coffee” is that while you are purchasing your own salted caramel machiatto (or whatever your favorite coffee drink might be), you also purchase another coffee to be “suspended” or waiting there, allowing the barista to choose a random stranger who appears to be in need of coffee without the burden of payment.
Today as I sat in church rejoicing over the news that Jesus is no longer suspended on the cross (He is Risen!), my thoughts focused on that one word: suspended. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Being an educator, I immediately think of being suspended from school (NOT from first hand experience, let me reassure you! Ha!) Being suspended from school is humiliating. Embarrassing. A punishment for not following the rules. Then I think of Jesus being suspended on the cross. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Punished.
All for me.
While suspended coffees and a suspended savior may not go hand-in-hand per se, they were connected in my head this morning. Jesus did not stay suspended. He was brought down from the cross, placed in a tomb, and rose 3 days later. He carried the weight of my sin hanging on that cross, but it was a weight he chose to bear. A suspended student also bears the weight of whatever action was committed, but does not stay suspended forever. He serves his time, then returns to begin again. Like these two examples, I know my suspended coffees will not remain in mid-air. Someone will enjoy a free coffee. Someone’s thirst will be quenched. Someone will be reminded that there are nice people in this world and that good things can, and do, happen to them.
It was with this spirit that I reached into my purse and felt the straight edges of my Happy Birthday bag. As many of you know, I celebrated my 40th birthday by completing 40 Random Acts of Kindness (if you want to start at the beginning and read what I did, click here.) One of my dearest friends, Lisa, blessed me with this birthday bag and filled it with one dollar bills. “For your project!” she proclaimed, being one of my biggest cheerleaders in life. I’ve been carrying around this bag for months, never knowing when the moment will touch my heart to bless someone else, but reassured that when the moment appears, I will have some money to make it happen. Today, I reached in and took out $10.
After church, I made my way downstairs to the new coffee shop that just opened in our church. All proceeds from the coffee sales will go to support mission trips; not only would I bless a few strangers with coffee, my money would continue to bless those that served others.
As I waited in line, my thoughts drifted again to Sandy Hook. Today is the first Easter celebration where 26 families have their precious loved ones living with Jesus instead of them. Just the thought brought such an array of mixed emotions, I could barely speak when it was my turn to order.
“And what can I get for you, Miss?” My tear-clouded vision cleared as I was brought back into the moment. “Well, this might sound a little odd, but I don’t want to buy any coffee for myself. Can I buy three suspended coffees instead?” I then explained the concept of suspended coffees and the purpose of my mission. The barista, a church member, was a little taken back by my request (I’m pretty sure she hasn’t heard the latest buzz about suspended coffees, lol), but she seemed quite happy to take the money and pass it along to someone who might need it more than me.
Suspended coffee. Something so simple, and yet a perfect RAK for Easter Sunday. I dedicate today’s RAK to Dawn Hochsprung, age 47, who as the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary knew the meaning of “suspended”. According to media reports, she was a hero in every sense of the word, not only leading her school with joy and enthusiasm, but “facing every problem head-on… even lunging at the shooter upon hearing the sounds of gunshots.” She sacrificed her life for her students; Jesus sacrificed his life for you and me. I know, without a doubt, neither life is suspended anymore.
Be blessed my dear friends this Resurrection Sunday and share a hug with those you love. Those RAKs are free, but worth the world. 🙂