The other morning when I stopped by Starbucks across from the office there was a line of cars in the drive through. After a very busy weekend, I really wasn’t in a hurry. I just needed a little extra go juice. After I placed my order, the usual a blonde roast, cream and sugar, (I’m a light drinker) I was third in line to receive my order. Window down I was stunned from my Monday morning fog when a woman two cars ahead suddenly began yelling at the young woman at the window. “You dumb, f******* b**** I want to speak with your manager!!!!!” I’m pretty sure the seismology sensors across the state picked up her thunderous tone. Immediately, I was wide awake and my ministry sensors were tingling. Okay, so perhaps her latte wasn’t non-fat or her iced coffee was too sweet, or maybe some of the costly liquid was on the outside of the container – whatever the problem was and maybe it was not any mistake the barista made, no one deserves to be treated with such a raucous demeaning tone.
The vehicle before me hurried through their order with little exchange and I was next to pull up to the window where I was greeted with a smile that I knew was masking a major blow. As I exchanged my payment for my coffee I said, “Well, she was really loud. And, no one deserves to be treated that way, no matter what, no one deserves to be called those names. I really hope your day gets better. Thank you.” She mouthed thank you as her eyes flooded with what I believe were tears of hope and healing, a simple miracle at the drive through window. Yes a miracle of grace, one person to another, simple and yet potentially profound. I just hope my barista’s day improved and the other customer found solace for whatever was troubling her. I’m fully aware the abusive customer may be abused by something herself. And, everyone has the right to be angry while no one has the right to abuse others with their anger.
I drove to the office almost no longer needing my extra go juice adrenaline had taken over. My coffee, well it didn’t have any cream or sugar, a result of another persons unleashed cruelty. And that’s why I always keep some handy. I ran across this quote and article later in the day. Good thoughts for this week of Thanksgiving.
“When we feel most grateful, it is impossible to be cruel or callous, brutal or indifferent.” Marcus Borg