Tom Loewy: Finding faith in grace

From the Register-Mail:

Lexie Frensley was stationed behind the counter, between the espresso maker and a refrigerator filled with gallon jugs of milk.

The coffee aficionado knows Lexie as a barista.

“I’m a junior at Knox College,” the 21-year-old explained. “I’m from Murfreesboro, in Tennessee.

“It’s a city of just over 100,000, so Galesburg has definitely been an adjustment. There’s not as much traffic, that’s for sure. Here, you can get from one side of town to the other in 10 minutes.”

Lexie wore a plaid flannel shirt, ready for the Midwest’s chill.

“I was looking to get out of the South and the Midwest is not too far away. One of the reasons I came to Knox is the lure of Chicago — it’s only three hours away.”

Lexie smiled.

“I wanted a new perspective. My parents got divorced about 19 years ago and my mom is very Southern Baptist. I was raised ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am. Yes sir, no sir’ at home. It is a very conservative household.”

The barista shifted and leaned against the counter. The coffeehouse and tearoom’s patrons were quiet, plugged into laptops or engrossed in books.

“I’m not a Southern Baptist. I know this is cliché to say, but I think I’m more spiritual than religious.