Why I still go to Starbucks

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBloggerA couple of months ago, I posted a picture of my Starbucks cup with a funny line that made me laugh, and I got a bit of feedback. Folks piped up, someone sent me a link, and I saw it had hit a nerve.

I read the article that was sent explaining their reasons for boycotting. I did some research on my own, dug a little deeper, and talked it over with my husband. But that whole time, all I could really see were faces. With names. And lives. In the stores where I’d grab my drinks.

Names and faces.

And I wondered. “Would Jesus stay away? What would He do about the baristas and the customers who hadn’t made the same decisions as the company CEO? Would He want me to stay away, too?”

Names and faces. People like me with families and children and lives. “What would Jesus do with these souls?”

I sat on it for weeks. But then today, in what I choose to believe was a divine appointment, it happened again. My path crossed over, intersected for a few brief moments with a young man clear out of my circles. A man whom Jesus loves.

Here’s what happened.

It’s nearly time to get home. I’ve done my errands, and swinging in to an empty spot, I park the *BMV. I’ve got one more thing to do.

Stepping up to the counter, the barista says, “Before you start, I need to tell you that our steamer wand is out. So all we can make are…”

I smile. “That’s fine. I’ll just hop over to the other one.”

Over at the other store, I’m standing at the counter, giving her my order, when I see him come in. “Grande caramel macchiato,” I say, “Stirred, please, with a shot of whip on top.”

She rings me up, and I stand, waiting for my frothy, espresso-laden cup of goodness. And there he is. A trendy young man, jeans rolled and cuffed just so atop those…

“I like your boots,” I say, looking at the stylish young man. And like that, his brown eyes light up with the glow of a thousand candles.

I’ve struck a nerve.

“Thank you!” He’s enthused. “I just went to Aldo’s on Sunday, and I got seven pairs!” I’m grinning, nodding my curly head.

“My son,” I say, “he loves that store.” And in my mind, I’m seeing a pair of shoes, gray, tweed, that were slipped beneath a tree once upon a Christmastime.

“I have to go to Chicago soon to go shopping.” I’m listening. “I’m a makeup artist and a stylist.”

And I, still thinking of my own stylin’ son, I give him this: “He’s overseas right now, and he says those Europeans are very stylish!” ‘Cause he told me that the other week, how very, very hip they are, and with it.

The klieg light, it comes back on. “I was over there once at a fashion show.” I know what this young man loves. “And I bought a couple of Marc Jacobs pieces.” His eyes…he’s seeing it all again. “The music, the atmosphere, I felt like I was dreaming the whole time.”

And I’m seeing my son. “He’s not over there for fashion. He’s helping the refugees right now. You know, where they’re streaming into Greece? He’s meeting Syrians, making friends with Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis. And he met two Afghan teenagers who were fleeing the Taliban.”

He’s amazed. “How good that he’s over there helping!” he says.

“He loves people,” I say.

“And I love animals,” he says. He means it. “And I’m a vegan.” A smiling, warm and friendly vegan.

I look at him just like I did another young man named Marcellus in that very store, and I say, “May I ask how old you are?”

“Twenty-four.” It springs quickly and freely from his lips.

“I have four sons, and you’re right in between my two oldest ones. What is your name?”


“Would you mind, Hector, if on my way home I would just say a prayer for you?”

His face, it’s light and happy. “Not at all.”

And so I say what I’ve learned to say to those whom the Lord will send me: “How can I pray for you?”

He tells me. And I listen, and I hear what really lies beneath. Hunger. Thirst. Needing…

On the way home, my mind is whirling. My heart is softened, crust punctured by a stylish young man named Hector. And I wonder…

I wonder if Hector with the finely-tattooed neck, the European style. The trendy boots and the just-right jeans. Hector, the animal-loving vegan. I wonder how he’d fit in my circles. If he’d feel and know that he was loved. Accepted. Received and welcomed as he is, as he’s not, where he’s at.

I’ve never seen Hector at my church. But I did find him at my Starbucks.

If you have chosen, for reasons of conscience, not to frequent Starbucks, then be obedient to your conscience. By all means. You must decide between God and yourself what you feel He wants you to do.

But so must I. And for now, I’ll take Jesus to Starbucks.

“Holy Spirit,” I say in the *BMV, driving home. “What should I ask for Hector?”

“That he would know Papa’s love. That he would know our Friend Jesus, that He died. Pray that Hector will know Love.” Amen.

*BMV – Blue Mini Van

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