A Christian man relates stories of random encounters in coffee shops.
The latest from McIntyre (Shackled Yet Free, 2011) is an attempt to capture how serendipitous and sometimes-momentous spiritual events can begin with a simple encounters. The author firmly believes that God uses everyday people as his messengers (“ordinary people to do extraordinary things,” as he puts it), and he’s tried to satisfy what he calls humanity’s “innate desire to fellowship” in coffee shops around the country. In them, he meets people at random, learns their stories, and shares his own. McIntyre espouses a straightforward, fundamentalist Christianity that sees God’s hand in everything, and the book is full of stories that take this point of view; however, they may confuse skeptics, even as they have fellow believers nodding their heads in agreement. The author’s 2-year-old daughter was struck by a neighbor’s car in one story, for instance; fortunately, she wasn’t injured, and McIntyre writes that the driver “was able to stop the vehicle” in time “by divine intervention”; however, he doesn’t address why God would allow the accident to occur at all. “Reaching out to others is not only something worth doing, but it is God’s commandment for us,” he writes, and similarly optimistic affirmations fill the book. An opening assumption that all atheists believe that the universe came “together by accident” is inaccurate, but in general, the author’s compassionate faith that “every one of us has a calling to be a planter” carries the book over its few rough patches. Not all readers will come away convinced that the coincidences that McIntyre describes are heaven-sent, but even doubters may hope to meet him in a coffee shop themselves someday.
An often engaging collection of inspirational meetings.