I stop at Starbucks most mornings on my way to work. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, my cardiologist, after completely cutting off caffeine while I was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, later told me, “I don’t mind if you have one cup of coffee in the morning.” Since I’m limited to one cup, I want to make it a good one. Second, the thoughtful folks at Starbucks opened a store with a drive-through window that I have to pass by every day.
On my way in this morning there were three cars ahead of me in the drive-through. It was really cold outside and the car was really warm, so I waited more or less patiently for the folks ahead of me to be served. As I pulled up to the window the barista passed me a cup of coffee with her gloved hand, but when I offered her my Starbucks card, she refused to take it. “The lady ahead of you paid for your coffee. She said to have a nice Friday.”
Her kindness brought a smile to my face and a lift to my day. The coffee even tasted better than usual.
The blonde lady in the Mazda 3 made me think about how quick we are to bring people down—with harsh words, an angry gesture, a car horn—and how rarely we go a little out of our way to lift a stranger’s spirit.
The Apostle Paul once counseled Christ followers to “encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). All it took to build me up today was for a stranger to randomly buy me a cup of coffee.
Now I get to pass it on.
If you’re in line behind me on Sunday morning, I’m going to do my best to make sure you “have a happy Sunday.”