I have been working in downtown Chicago for a little over 2 years now. Most days before I go to work, I stop at my favorite Starbucks right off of Madison and Wabash to get my caffeine fix for my shift. I’ve been stopping at this same Starbucks for coffee, Frappuccino, cappuccino, espresso, or whatever I want for the 2 years I’ve been working downtown. There are a couple of ladies that work in there that I will often say hi to and joke around with. One lady jokes with me about how she can never tell what I am going to get. (Most people have a usual, but with me, it depends on my mood whether I get coffee, an espresso, or something completely different) The other lady has a great laugh, comparable to my own and I will never forget that she taught me what a “red eye” is. The conversation went something like this:
I need something that will wake me up. How about a venti coffee with a shot of espresso.
So you want a red eye.
No. I want a venti coffee with a shot of espresso.
Honey, that’s what a red eye is.
I’ve exchanged many pleasantries and laughs with both of these ladies over the past year or so. But nothing deeper than what I described above or pleasant talk: how is your day, on your way to work? have a good day! I’ve also never asked them their names. And they have never asked me mine. I’m usually in a hurry…who has the time.
Give me my coffee so I can go…
Today, I went to church. The first half an hour is usually worship and worship music. After the worship music is over, the pastor encourages us to say hello to the people around us. He encourages us to say hi to someone we don’t know. Two ladies sitting in front of me turned around and one shook my hand. I looked in her eyes and all of a sudden she screamed,
I burst out laughing. It was one of the ladies from Starbucks.
Then she puts her hand on the shoulder of the lady sitting next to her and says,
Look who this is!
She yells, “Oh my gosh, it’s you!!”
You guessed it, it was the other lady from Starbucks.
By this time we are all laughing and we had a great big group hug. These nice ladies who had been serving me my Starbucks for the past year or so, had been going to my church for about the same amount of time as they had been serving me my coffee.
And I had no idea…
You can blame it on the fact that I go to a big church. But I don’t. I blame it on myself. If I had maybe taken a little bit of time to ask a few more questions and not so quick to get my coffee and go, perhaps I could have learned more about these ladies. Perhaps I would have found out that these nice ladies that serve me coffee on a daily basis are also in community with me in serving the Lord.
This is something I need to work on. As a protective measure, I usually walk around with tunnel vision, as if I am in an impenetrable bubble. It’s emotionally as well as physically protective in my world. It’s usually a social coping mechanism. My challenge is to open up, not completely, but a little more to the world that is around me because it’s not all bad. It’s filled with nice Starbucks ladies who just happen to be Christians and just happen to attend my church.
But at least now, I know their names…