So it’s Monday morning and I’m on my way to Starbucks. In my defense, I usually don’t visit Starbucks on a Monday morning, but there was a lot of gardening and the ensuing sore muscles yesterday, and the child woke me up at 2:30, and biology woke me up at 4:30, and the puppy woke me up for good at 5:30, and this week’s liturgy just needed a boost of caffeine.
So I’m on my way to Starbucks, a two-minute walk from the church, and I pass a guy pushing a grocery cart with a big garbage bag in it, which I assume is filled with cans and bottles he’s planning to recycle for the 5 cent rebate. I’m on a mission for coffee, but I do think to myself, “God, bless that man” as I walk by. But in the seconds after I pass him, before I get to Starbucks, I think to myself, “Maybe God wants me to be a blessing to him.” And I go in and order my tall latte.
I have brought $3.oo with me; the coffee is $2.65 and I put the change in the tip jar. I’m chatting with the barrista who’s foaming the milk and I hear the guy come in. “Have you seen my friend who was pushing the thing? Has he come out yet?” No, says the barrista. But then his friend comes out of the loo – an older gentleman wearing an Oregon State cap, pushing one of those walkers that has a basket and a padded seat. The gentlemen leave.
I get my coffee, go outside, and pass them by. They nod to me, and I’m expecting them to ask me for a dollar or two and I regret having only brought was was necessary for the coffee. But they don’t ask me for anything; I’m pretty sure they don’t even notice me. We end up next to each other at the light and cross the street together. The guys are chatting away, oblivious to my theological musings. And on my way back to the office, I think to myself, “Who’s to say that man isn’t meant to be a blessing to me?”
May there be caffeine and the blessing of strangers for you today.