“0-Dark-Thirty” cobwebs cleared, but once those first set of eyes lit up at the realization that their coffee order was being filled “free of charge,” the blessing of being a blessing in the slightest way, made the early rise and small financial sacrifice worth it. Most of those eyes were first acquaintances; some were old friends like Bretny, a childhood friend of our now College-Freshman-daughter, Kaitlyn. Bretny was on her way to class at nearby Chemeketa Community College. Thinking of her slipping out of Safeway, coffee in hand, on her way to class, somehow brings me closer to my own college student, and I find myself praying someone in Nampa, Idaho, might offer a similar kind gesture along the way she travels. One set of eyes belonged to a young mom whose husband was off to his first day of work in five months. Having to get up early to help him get ready for work and drop the kids off at school was something to be celebrated, and we were given the privilege of sharing the moment, ever so briefly, as we sent her off into the murky, but more hopeful, Willamette Valley morning. The last set of eyes summed our morning up best. They belonged to a mom who had lost her daughter of fourteen years to cerebral palsy just two years ago. We connected with her because of one kind gesture, and she gifted us with a brief glimpse into her story expressing her gratitude through the grandest of human gestures – a hug for my wife, Heather. Smile after smile, our little band connected with people – life’s most precious resource – for a couple of hours on a Monday morning that, honestly, was one of the best Monday mornings I’ve experienced in a long time.