Saturday, January 10, 2009

Talking with people at Starbucks

Today I went into the Starbucks at Hardin and El Dorado, which is very close to my house. I sometimes go to this Starbucks, but more often I go to the one on HWY 380.

As I walked in, I immediately recognized one of the workers. She was from the 380 store.

Some of you may remember me telling about the girl Vanessa who was homeless and that I met at Starbucks and that we took in for a night. Well, the worker at Starbucks that I saw today (Alyssa) is one of the workers there that showed a lot of kindness to Vanessa when she was at the store, giving her free drinks, letting her stay there all day, and even giving her some money.

When I came in, I smiled. We both recognized that we knew each other from the other store. We conversed and I said, "Alyssa, right?" She said, "Yes, James." I think she liked that I remembered her name, and I was glad that she remembered mine.

As we talked, I asked about her holiday and she asked about mine. When she asked where Becki's family, who had come in for the holidays, lived, I told her Colorado. She said that she had moved back from Pueblo, where she had been living with her ex-boyfriend. I found out as well that she was from Canada, though I never would have known from her lack of an accent.

It was great to have a good conversation with Alyssa. I have seen some of her wonderful qualities, and hopefully I can continue to show her a genuine faith and interest in her. Perhaps this will lead to her exploring faith issues, perhaps not. For now, I'm simply glad to try to share some sunshine and to know her.

Another perk to just talking with people and showing interest in them--Alyssa gave me my drink for free! And she encouraged me to go back to the other store and not be a traitor! :)

Do you have any place that you see the same type of service worker repeatedly? Do you engage them in conversation?


Anonymous said...

My wife and I have gotten to know a family that runs a donut shop from Cambodia. They are very hard workers who are successful business people. The couple have put their children through college and love this country. One daughter helps her parents on the weekend to give them sometime off. Through the years are conversations have turned to spiritual things.

Anonymous said...

"Retail evangelism" as I have heard it called, is a great way to serve others. I grew up in a small town. I went into the grocery store, the hardware store, the bank, a friend's house, my parents' friends' house. With the hustle and bustle of today and the yearning for more,more,more- people crave eye to eye contact. The UPS store where I go has great service. I have gotten to know the workers there very well. Someone told me that I was paying more by going to that UPS store. I want the relationship though, whether they respond to the gospel or not. Each day, we are either serving God or serving ourselves.

Matt B

Anonymous said...

I heard a news story yesterday concerning a couple that is getting married at Taco Bell: their reasoning..."it was the closet thing to a church we had." Wow, if we are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and share his message, we are going to have to get out of our buildings and into the market places! jv

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Matt, you are right that people will often "pay more" for something if it helps them maintain or grow a relationship. We are at heart, just people, who want to love and be loved by God and people. Sometimes we make outreach too complicated.

James said...

Wow, James. Taco Bell is a person's church? This shows the great need for relationships in people's lives!