It was the end of a long day and I anxiously waited for my turn to order at one of the Starbucks on UF's campus. Thinking through all of the delicious caffeinated options in my head, I finally narrowed it down to a grande Raspberry Mocha with an extra shot of espresso. Perfect. My turn to order.
"Hey! How are you?" I said as the barista began to ask for my order. He stepped back in surprise (literally)."No one has ever asked me that before! And you just asked me that so genuinely...like you really care," he replied."Well, I do care. Are you having a good night?""Yeah, it's going pretty good. Thanks. What can I get for you?""A grande Raspberry Mocha with an extra shot of espresso, please.""Alrighty. Would you like a copy of your receipt?""Yes. Thanks! Have a great rest of your night.""Wow. Seriously, thank you!"
And that's how the conversation ended. It wasn't anything crazy-out-of-the-ordinary to me...I have out of habit started making conversation with cashiers. Just a habit. But to this barista, it rocked his world. I know this because I saw him again. And he remembered me.
A week later, I was in line for coffee again (no surprise there) and when it was my turn to order, I stepped up to discover the very same barista who had rang me up the previous week.
"YOU'RE THE HAPPY GIRL!!!!" he almost screamed at me."Haha, I guess that's me!" I replied."I remember you asking me about my day and you were just so nice! My name's Matthew.""I'm Emily. And of course I would be nice to you! You make me coffee that gives me energy to do my homework!""It's nice to meet you, Emily. I hope you have a great night!"
And with that, I made a new friend. Even if it's just to say "Hey, Matthew. I hope you're having a great day" to. I may never have a deep conversation or even hang out with Matthew. But I do know that our paths crossed and he reminded me of something pretty incredible.
Luke 6:36 says, "Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind."
My Father is kind. I need to be kind. That's it. That's the secret-sauce. That special, added ingredient that can make all the difference. I have no idea what those around me are going through, but I know that I have crossed paths with them today for a reason. Our Father is kind; you be kind.
Greet those you sit next to on the bus, stop next to at a red light, the cashier who rings you up at Publix, the lady who checks you in at the gym, your professor, your co-worker....greet everyone with kindness. You just never know how a simple smile can impact an entire day.