There’s a sign on one of the stores proudly proclaiming addiction. The windows are filled with men’s underwear, tools and gadgets claiming pleasure. Across the street “massage” shops pedal their wares, adult book and video stores lining other parts of the street. Rich walk or drive by uncaring, side by side by with the homeless and hungry, high, sold and selling. It’s not the kind of place you’d like to live, perhaps one to visit for shows or shopping, novelty or to say you did. People tell us we’re crazy, that the place is lost, a modern Gomorrah. “Give up, you’re fools, you’re stupid,” they say. “No thanks, I’m good,” say others.
And yet, handing out coffee, it’s one of my favorite things. Snuggled away in a tiny cafe, staring down the porn shop five feet shy of face to face. Offering prayer, healing, light to the shattered people. Most of them say no, walk by without speaking or a small “no thanks.”
But that’s not really the point, is it? It’s not about the coffee, the tea, how many lumps of sugar we spoon. Because lost causes are only lost when there’s no one left to fight for them, nobody left to say that they care, and Jesus is in this place, calling out, stirring the milk and tea. He is ferrying out water, pouring cups, asking people questions. He cares, He is there, and that is why we go.
The Living Room, our little cafe, an oasis in the dark. Like a warm cabin in a frigid woods’ winter, light and worship pour out from the doors and windows, help and love as an offering.
Thank you Jesus, for what You are doing in Soho.