Having a Conversation at Cafe Strada

When I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I was member of a Christian fraternity. One of the most enjoyable parts of our fraternity was the conversation. We had members from nearly every kind of church background. On those beautiful fall nights, we would often walk down the street to find a table at Café Strada, the coffee shop across the street from campus.

We would sit, play cards, and talk about life. We would talk about faith. We would talk about our hopes and dreams. Sometimes to be sure, we would agree to disagree, and yet there was something profoundly special about those cool Berkeley evenings. 

I’ve come to realize it’s not always easy to have conversations with people and it’s not always easy to have conversations with people from different faith traditions.  In my mind’s eye, I have this ideal of life—the way I wish life could be. In this ideal, there is something from those evenings at Café Strada. We are sitting around an outdoor table, drinking hot cups of coffee, enjoying a pleasant fall evening together.  We are talking about family, faith and life. There might be moments of extended silence, and other moments of easy laughter. We are sharing this time together.

It’s funny how life works. Life is filled with exciting and full experiences and yet the moments which have become meaningful for me, are not the times of accomplishment, or even celebration.  The moments most meaningful to me now are often the quiet times, where I was able to enjoy something as simple as a conversation, throwing around a baseball, or taking a long walk.

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