Today, one of my closest friends and I biked to Sugar Brown’s coffee shop, which is one of my absolute favorite places in Lubbock. Every Tuesday this semester, my sister and I and a couple of close friends go to sit down with a cup of coffee, work on homework, and talk (I must admit, we usually do more talking than homework). People watching is often an accidental means of distraction during this time as well. People are so fascinating to watch as they go about their daily lives. So, we are often caught in an unattractive trance as we take in the bustling activity of those around us.
This afternoon, we were working on homework with surprising diligence at a long wooden table. At first it was just two of us, but a few of our other friends mentioned they might meet up if they got the chance. Slowly but surely, my sister, her boyfriend, and our three close friends trickled in to join. Our group filled the long wooden table. Never had such a group formed on a Tuesday afternoon. This was the coffee day! Everything happened so spontaneously and naturally. We all had different projects and assignments to do, but it was such a gift because we were all together laughing and enjoying one another.
On the bike ride back after coffee, I was pondering the little gathering and began listing in my head all of my favorite things and a couple of words that best define this place of Lubbock, Texas:
Lubbock is lovely. Now, let me define what I mean when I use the term “lovely”. Lubbock is dry, flat, and you could probably count the number of trees we have on your fingers. Springtime brings days of dust storms (Or, “haboobs” as we call them) that leave the teeth gritty and the skin grimy. These are the obvious characteristics of Lubbock that make people cringe, halt, and turn a complete 180 direction. Yet, many people neglect to see the beauty in this place I call home. No, we don’t have many trees…however, we have the biggest sky that forever sings joyful praises to the Lord. There are no trees to stifle its sweet voice. Wherever you find yourself in Lubbock, look out and take in a sea of vibrant blue speckled with white, cottony billows. In the morning, the horizon looks as if it is ablaze with flames. The evening sunsets are a water color painting of shades no one even knew existed.
Yes, we have dust storms and winds that quite literally might blow your socks off…however, the very next day brings the clearest, cleanest air that speaks of the pure nature of the Lord. Breathing deeply of this air, fills the lungs and soul with a cool refreshment.
My most favorite thing of all about this place though, is the people. Lubbock is a friendly and inviting town. A place where you can make friends wherever you go. Whether it’s with the grocery store worker arranging tomatoes in the produce section or someone standing in line at the coffee shop, there is a loving and neighborly feel to the community. The warmth and love in people is other-worldly and comes from a Divine presence. There is a lightness in the air – a feeling of safety and comfort. The Lord is truly in our midst and it is evident in the sky and the air, but most of all in the hearts and eyes of the people. These are just a few of my favorite things about the place I love and call home.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” – Romans 15:5
At Home in the World