NOTE: This is an updated version of a post I wrote back in 2016. The reason I’ve updated and reposted it is because its central figure, Amos Esch, just went home to be with Jesus at the age of 95 years old. Yep, he was born in 1924.
I didn’t know Amos very well. I only had a few, albeit significant, interactions with him over the years. One of those interactions is written about below. May it serve as an encouragement to you today, and in a small way, may it serve as a tribute to a wonderful man of God.
I am at my local Starbucks just about every day. And if I’m not at Starbucks, I’m at some coffeeshop around town. I know, I know: I have a problem (the first step is admitting right?). But in my defense, THREE of my four kids work at our neighborhood Starbucks and, well, I’m a good family man. Also, a silly amount of baristas attend our church, which makes it one of those “return of the tithe” kinda things!
So I think I’m justified. Stop judging me.
Sure I’m a espresso addict, but more than anything I’m here for the people. I love to see folks…you know, the coffee shop regulars. One such regular is Amos Esch.
Amos is 92 years old. He’s a kind elderly gentlemen that exudes warmth. He is usually in his seat right when the doors open around 5:30 am. Then, after chit-chatting with the other patrons, finishing his tall Pikes Place, and perusing the newspaper, he will make the long, slow shuffle to the door. I always give Amos a glance and a friendly “Good morning Sir” but we’ve never had a long conversation.
He told me about how his morning was shaping up. Tidbits from the newspaper. His next stop was to go to Snap Fitness to exercise a little bit (keep in mind that he is 92!). Then we talked about his knees and hips and how he was able to avoid surgery by simply moving and being active rather than sitting in his chair for too long.
Then before he walked out the door, he stopped, came back to me and asked: “Are you the pastor at the church up the hill?” I acknowledged that I was.
He said: “Young man, heaven and earth will pass away, but word of God endures forever. Every day before I do anything I read the Word. Then at night before I go to bed, I read the Word. It is my life.”
I leaned forward because he had my full attention.
Then he looked me in the eye and said: “May the Lord richly bless you today and may God speak to you in a fresh way.” I nodded in agreement and whispered an “Amen.” He then smiled and shuffled his way out the door to this truck.
Amos of Starbucks.
There was an Old Testament prophet also named Amos. In the biblical book named after him this verse is captured…“The days are coming when I will send a famine through the land, not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
I can’t think of a worse kind of famine. Let’s pray that we don’t experience a famine such as this again in our land or hearts.
Well, let’s be like Amos Esch of Starbucks who hungers and thirsts for the word of the Lord, and allows it to speak to him in fresh ways each and every day.