I think that every person should be forced to work the food industry at least once in their lives. I have people come into Starbucks all the time on their phones. No big deal, right? Except for when you ask them what they want and they shoot you that glare like you're interrupting their phone conversation. To make matters worse, they whisper their order to you so as to not disturb their conversation which of course is always life or death.
I think we forget who is behind the counter. I know it is easy to think, 'They work here so they must be __________ uneducated, can't find anything better, without experience…' fill in the blank. But do you realize that in the time I've worked at Starbucks, I've met single mothers who are putting their two children through college, working two jobs and are going to school? I've met people who have degrees, have worked high paying jobs, managed big business… you name it.
Why am I telling you all of this? I want to tell you a story about my friend Patricia and how someone made the effort to know her. I met Patricia 3 years ago my first time around at Starbucks. She had just transferred from California and had very little. From day one, I knew we would be good friends. I soon found out that Patricia was a new believer and really desired to grow though it was hard in this new environment where she knew no one. I did what I could to get her involved and to minister to her before I left for Ecuador. Just yesterday, Patricia and I went out to lunch to catch up. I found out she was going to Bent Tree Bible Church and loving it. As I inquired as to how she started going there, she told me about one of her customers. The customer had taken the time to get to know Patricia as she came in every day. The week before Easter, she invited Patricia to go to Bent Tree with her. From the very first time she walked through those doors, she felt at home and so did her 5 year old daughter. Now it is her church home, she goes every Sunday, her daughters are involved in the children's ministry and Patricia helps out. Not only that, but she is meeting with a group of women who also work at Starbucks to have a weekly Bible study. I don't know who that customer was who began to minister to Patricia, but God used that to advance his kingdom.
We are all creatures of habit. We like to sit in the same seat at church on Sundays, go to the same check out at the grocery store, and the same Starbucks, so why not see each of those places as opportunities to love people to Jesus? Jesus calls us to go out into all the world, so how are you treating the world that is directly around you? Do they see Jesus in you or just someone holding a cell phone?