Cold Chai, Warm Heart

Sometimes, life just happens at you, and it’s wonderful.

Tonight was like that, it was totally different from what I expected. I went out to read a book and clear my thoughts, and just get a change of scenery. Well, as I was out at a coffee spot, with my Chai, sitting outside in the unusually cold Florida night, I just happened to hear some kids speaking French and was curious.

Well, the girl a few tables from me was approached by one of the kids practicing French, and we all got involved in talking about languages. I, being naturally curious, was inclined to go over and talk to them, and just ask a few questions and join the fun, since we were after all the only people outside the coffee venue. I didn’t want to be left out.

I set down my copy of the brothers K, and decided to join the fun.

After a few minutes, the high school kids went back to their French and I was left with this girl who seemed rather friendly. We kept talking, and she invited me to sit and share a conversation, so we talked.

Well, long story short, it got down to my new friend and I, and we spoke to each other candidly about life, for over an hour. As the heat dissipated from my chai, I didn’t mind as we spoke about finding the meaning of life, and what matters, and Christianity. I always end up talking about Christianity…

She had been to a baptist church before, and was actually turned off to the Church until recently because of things suffered and whatnot.

We talked about what it means to exist, and actually had a really long talk about autism, and babysitting. (Thanks Maria, for everything you taught me through joys, frustrations and fact teaching about autism.) We talked about dealing with reality, about education, science and art. She wants to return to Colorado, and we both shared our longing to go snowboarding again. I often miss snowboarding, even though I’ve only ever been twice. There’s something about the sport that I sincerely miss.

I loved just having a random encounter, it reminded me of how life in Houston was always full of new relationships, and just good conversations. I was reminded that I miss having non-Christian friends who bring exciting new perspectives back to me, people who matter for their own sake, people I’m not trying to teach or pastor, people who just take me at face value and allow me to exist. That was probably the best of it all, the sheer loveliness of not having to teach or speak about anything explicitly theological.

We simply shared conversation, and life, and it was cold, but it was beautiful.

There’s no real moral to this story except, life shows up, and we often have opportunities to slow down, reach out and live it.

As we parted ways, my chai was cold, but my heart was strangely warm.


6 thoughts on “Cold Chai, Warm Heart

  1. Beloved Eli, I don’t think it’s any “coincidence” that you had this wonderful experience after you let go and remembered yourself. I think academics, theology, and theological school, and all of that, can have their place, but I suspect that true witnessing in closer to this kind of experience than anything we can imagine.



    • I don’t think it was a coincidence either. It wasn’t even witnessing, it was sharing life, having a moment, and it was beautiful.

  2. And I’ll bet that she left with a warmer heart too.

    I’m so glad you got to have a wonderful evening like that!


  3. This was very well written, I’d like to see more writing like this from you. I know this really happened and you were just sharing, but have you thought of crafting some of your theological dialogs in a more narrative / conversational form?

    • that’s a good point, and I’ve thought of it, and am attempting to do something like that at the moment.

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