We had a failed coffee date this week. On Sunday, we packed up the kids to go get cocoas and coffee at a local cafe. But when we entered the cafe, literally every table was occupied. There were no available seats!
Undeterred, I ordered “trois chocolats chauds, petit et pas trop chaud” (three hot chocolates, small and not too hot) and “deux lattes au caramel” (two caramel lattes)”.
But while we waited, no one left the cafe. Every table remained just as full as before. So we got our drinks “à emprunter” (to go) and walked outside.
Quebec is full of parks and beautiful public spaces, and we knew there was a town square a stones throw away, so we walked up the street a little. But about 10 steps into our walk, we realized the wind was blowing like crazy and none of us were dressed well for the weather. We powered through, made it to the square, and promptly left before freezing.
“We’ll just drink these in the car. No big deal,” we said to ourselves and our popsicle-esque children.
On the walk back to the Jeep, however, I sipped my coffee… and it was awful. Burnt. Bitter. No caramel. No thank you. Allen’s tasted the same.
But in the Jeep, the kids enjoyed every sip of their cocoas and seemed happy about our time together.
As I thought about our failed outing earlier this week, I realized life is just like that sometimes: not what we expect, cold, disappointing. The cafe is too full, the wind is too strong, the coffee is too bitter.
But even in that, there are those little blessings that turn up: holding Hudson’s hand while he jumps over sidewalk cracks, the patience with which our kids waited, communicating successfully in French.
How good is God, that even in the failure-marked times in our lives, He is with us, giving us a glimpse of Kingdom work.
It may not have been a perfect coffee date or a perfect outing as a family, but Grace is most visible in the imperfect.