Beginner's Heart

via flickr

via flickr

Today was a Starbucks day. I realise that Starbucks isn’t everyone’s fave. It’s not local (but it employs a LOT of locals!), and it’s not trendy. Still, I like Starbucks. They’re always (well, almost always) nice to me, and I like the coffee. When folks give me small thank-you cards from Starbucks? I’m ecstatic!

Back to today: I dropped in at one of my nearby Starbucks. There are two equidistant from the house, and depending on if I’m going south or east is which one I use. The very nice lady at the counter took my order, and we chatted.

What’s on your calendar today? she asked. And I told her — a very sad day, I said. Not that I can share w/ you guys (not mine to tell), but I could tell a kind woman at Starbucks, who almost certainly won’t remember me.

We talked about framing bad news, about how to focus on good in the midst of sorrow, about what we don’t know that waits over the horizon. Obviously a devout Christian of the best — Jesus — type, she reminded me that we can’t know why things happen the way they do. I agree. And we both agreed that makes it no easier. Then she took my hand and said she would hold me in prayer. And gave me my two drinks free.

I can’t begin to tell you how much that kind act on the part of a complete stranger meant to me. She reached out w/ both her heart and her hands, and comforted me. I tried to pay, touched by her generousity, and she just shook her head. This is my gift to you, she said. God loves you; you just need to keep that in mind.

And because she was so very sure, I am. Keeping in mind that whatever differences she & I may have about who or what orders the universe, we both agree on this: love is at the heart of it. And sometimes, love takes the fragrant shape of a familiar white cup, steaming hot and comforting. Thank you, nice lady at Starbucks. You made my day.

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