Saturday, October 8, 2011

why I do, what I do…

She was about 5 years old, smiling from beneath long auburn curls, clutching a teddy bear wearing Marine dress blues. We were chatting and laughing. She told me she was leaving on a plane to go to El Paso (TX).

How much fun! We talked about going “sledding” on the white sand dunes of White Sands Missile Range (in New Mexico).
We started talking about her bear- as her beautiful mom was sharing that all of this wee child’s parents (mom, dad and step-dad) are active duty Marines. Of course, I thanked the mom for her service and shared I was a Viet Nam Era Veteran.
Soon it came out that the reason for their visit to El Paso was to attend the little girl’s father’s funeral; who was killed in action in Afghanistan just this last Friday.
The tears started to well up in my eyes. The little one continued to share that she was the “primary” (beneficiary), and that she was going to get her daddy’s flag at the funeral.
I asked and then hugged them both; and said I would be praying for them this week.
As they were departing we said we would see each other again soon.
I certainly hope so.

Lord, please wrap your loving arms around this charming young child and her mom as they deal with giving so much to preserve our country.
This is part of the reason why I work as a simple barista at Starbucks.
In my life, random people I meet tend to simply share rather important things that are happening in their lives. It just happens. Is it because I take a little bit more time and listen to what they are actually saying? I am not sure. All I know is that this type of thing happens over and over and over again in my life.
- A man whose sister was dying of congestive heart failure.
- Another man, whose dog was suffering from cancer and ultimately died later that week.
- A woman who was dying of cancer (I later attended her funeral)
- Another person, whose best friend has relapsed with aggressive brain cancer.
- I sang Happy Birthday to someone (I do that often), who later shared I was the only person who acknowledge her special day.
- The woman whom I choose to hug, who said it was the first time someone had even touched her in years.
These are just a few of the stories I hear.
So why do I work as a simple barista? Because that is where God wants me to be – touching people’s lives in a seemingly random place like Starbucks.

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