Beach Side Cafe on the Road to Emmaus

When we enter the lives of others, and when they enter our lives, the light of God should be glowing from us so that others feel poured into and lit up.  And when I met Emmaus Bob and Faye at a beach-side cafe, I left with my heart burning warmly from our time…

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:13-16, 28-32

One of my favourite stories about Jesus is the time after his resurrection that he appeared to a couple of his followers on the road to Emmaus, which is seven miles from Jerusalem.  Cleopas and his friend were walking along when Jesus approached them and walked with them.  Once they reached their destination Jesus ate with them and their eyes opened to who he is.  Their hearts, they said, burned with warmth from having spent time with Jesus.

Yesterday I was pondering how to put our light on a lampstand for the people who come into our lives.  The idea is for the light of Christ within us to be so warm that when people have been with us they will feel their hearts burn warmly like Cleopas and his friend.

After thinking about Luke 8 for a while, Lucy and I went for lunch at a beach side cafe where we are staying. The place was jammed with no empty tables, yet while we were standing in the middle of the cafe looking around, Emmaus Bob invited us to sit with him. He said, “We have two empty seats here. You can sit with us.  My wife will be right back.”

We had only been sitting there for a few minutes with them when my heart started to burn.  My heart burned, in fact, for the rest of the afternoon until I realized Emmaus Bob and Faye were plants.  They were placed by God on the path of my spiritual journey for my teaching and encouragement. In fact, we had a little church with them right there in the cafe…

They are ahead of us in years, their four kids in their twenty’s and one going to school in Washington State near us for her master’s in music composition.  We talked kids and life and work and faith.  We talked of the things that matter to us and they mattered to them.

I felt poured into and I felt lit up.

And that’s the point.

When we enter the lives of others, and when they enter our lives, the light of God should be glowing from us so that others feel poured into and lit up…

Emmaus Bob had never visited Washington and I offered for them to stay with us if they did come.  I thanked them for asking us to sit with them and expressed hope that we would see them again later.  Bob said, “Have a safe trip home.” It seemed like Bob didn’t think we would see each other again that day or the next.

Maybe Emmaus Bob and Faye were angels we were entertaining unaware.  Lucy told me I should tell Emmaus Bob what our lunch meant to me.  I told her that I hoped I never saw him again.  I am increasingly convinced they were angels and I am quite encouraged to leave our blessed connection where we had it – in a beach side cafe on the road to Emmaus.


Marc Kinna

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