In my life, coffee holds a special place. I must have coffee every day, caffeinated or decaf, steaming hot or iced, instant or brewed, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is coffee. It will sort of “jump start” my day. Maybe I am suffering from the spirit of “procaffeination”.
I know…I know…too much coffee is not good for my physical heart, but somehow it works wonders on my spirit. When I have a cup of warm coffee in my hand, it releases something inside of me and allows me to make connections with people faster.
Coffee has provided me with a meeting ground for many years. Whenever I wish to meet up with someone for fellowship or otherwise, I would call up that person and ask, “would you like to ‘lim kopi’?” It seems to work all the time. It works not only for one-on-one meeting but it also works for a gathering of a big group of friends.
I think none of us can deny that asking people to “Come together for a cup of coffee” has paved the way for new acquaintances, deepening friendships, healing hurts, reconciling differences, and even for subtle rebukes. By the simple invitation of sitting down in a comfortable place, with good ambience and sharing a beverage, walls come down, prejudices become soft, and hearts open up. (By the way, do you know that C.O.F.F.E.E. can be acronym for “Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere”?).
Please do not downplay on “Small Coffee Talk”. Sydney Smith, 19th century English essayist, said “One of the great pleasures of life is conversation.” Laurie Chock and Goldberg, a communicating consulting firm in New York, said, “Small talk is a misnomer. Those little conversations probably have more impact than any other.” Another communication expert said, “For many of us, small talk is hard work…(But) if you have comforted yourself by saying small talk doesn’t matter, think again. Small talk builds rapport and often leads to bigger things.”
Friendships and relationships can be built and enhanced over small coffee talks. So, in this coming year, let us find time to ‘lim kopi’ and fellowship with one another. Let us also make time for our pre-believing friends, and perhaps even have casual conversations about God during our “coffee talk”, when the time is right.
Thank God for ‘coffee’ and ‘tea’ too, of course.
Rev. Eddy Lim