A tall bleached blond guy stops to chat with my husband. I’ve never seen this surfer-dude before, but Travis’s smile says that this is a regular customer. They talk, the blonde guy gets his drink, he leaves, and Travis turns to the next customer.
It’s amazing. I’ve seen my husband show the same love, familiarity, and care that long haired blonde just received to retired millionaires, recovering addicts, homeless people…and not just him. Regular Starbucks customers from all walks of life have wiggled their way into the hearts of the staff at the Antique Mall Starbucks.
I sigh. As Travis has said before, for many people, their local Starbucks gives them what the church should be.
A place to be themselves.
People who know their name, their job, their family.
Words of joyful greeting everyday.
How many times have I been afraid to even smile at the homeless man sitting off to the side in church or to go up and introduce myself to the nervous mom visiting for the first time?
And again, my heart whispers the now well-worn cry, “Lord, teach me to love people.”
Someone walks past my table and I flash an automatic, cheerful smile. He stops to flirt…I realize it too late. Oh well. I told him I’m married. I’m not worried.
And sometime catches in my heart. Faces flash through my head…all the faces of the people that I’ve smiled at over the last few days…maybe weeks.
Those smiles. All those smiles and no fear.
He is answering my prayer.
He really is.
I remember a few more smiles…ones where I had to talk myself into it, knowing it was the right thing to do. Mostly, I don’t have to give myself that pep talk anymore.
He is answering.
It may just be a smile.
It may just be a friendly nod at a stranger on the street, but I know it goes far deeper. I really am learning to love. I really am learning not to fear.
Writing this tears are in my eyes. I’m so thankful. I know there will be many more fearful pep talks, many more hurdles to jump. But He is answering and I know that He will continue to answer.