I looked up from my phone, the thought occurring to me that I’d been standing at the end of the counter for quite some time. I checked the people around me, running their faces through my Mental Facial Recognition System, scanning for matches so I could determine if the people around me had ordered before me or after. I didn’t recognize any of them, but while I did my assessment, I watched FRANK get his Starbucks® Caramel Frappuccino and BEVERLY her Teavana® Shaken Iced Passion Tango™ Tea.
No sign of a triple-shot Caffè Mocha® for KELLY.
I began to work through possibilities for the delay, assessing the baristas. There were seven total. I deducted two for the drive-through and began watching the others. The girl with the purple hair never left the register, but that still left four people to work on drink orders. And they were working. Hard. Yet, as efficient as they were, I still counted nine empty cups of varying sizes set out in a row, labeled for cold drinks, waiting to be filled.
I continued to stand there, shifting from foot to foot, giving them more time, overthinking and recounting, leaning in surreptitiously to see if there were any cups set out in a row for hot drinks like mine. I chose to overthink and delay because I didn’t want to do The Other Thing. The Other Thing was to go up to the register and ask the purple-haired girl if they’d forgotten my drink order. And I didn’t want to do THAT because, well, introvert.
It had been…one of those weeks. One of those weeks when everything seemed difficult, everything seemed determined to resist me.
DAMNIT, I thought. I don’t have it in me. I don’t feel like fighting for one more damn thing. Which, yes, is quite the overreaction to a delayed cup of (totally awesome) coffee. But again, there had been the hard week.
Just then, one of the baristas looked up, assessed the room, and called out “Kelly?” He wasn’t holding a Triple Grande Mocha. He just had a white order sticker on his thumb.
“That’s me,” I called back, stealing a peek at his name tag.
“I’m sorry, Kelly,” he said. “You got overlooked. I’m on it right now.”
“Thank you,” I said.
Then, a wry afterthought: Kinda like you, God.
Blessed are The Noticers.
As we move and live and have our being in this world, some of us are the sparkly, purple-haired girl, making people laugh while taking orders and sending them down the line. Some of us are the extroverted baristas with their witty remarks and upbeat attitudes -- even as they work. (It’s a great day, mama, a great day. I’m just glad to be here.) Customers chuckle. Coworkers laugh. Some of us are the quiet baristas, heads down, but CRANKING IT OUT for the customers, and assisting coworkers when they need it. (You outta cups, Janie? I’ll grab some from the back. Jake, Here. Take this one.)
And some of us are CHAD.
CHAD is a noticer.
CHAD notices who and what gets overlooked, and he fixes it.
It’s a Beautiful Thing.
WaitWhat? Did I just use Starbucks as a metaphor for the Kingdom of God? Yup. I did. (Maybe you should try it. Maybe the next time you enter a coffeehouse, you should ask yourself, “How is this like the Kingdom of God?” And see what you see.)
Every person in this metaphor matters. Every role is important. But today – and maybe this is just the mocha talking — but TODAY
I celebrate the Noticers in our world.
Those who notice the awkward child standing apart…
the homeless man with his homeless dog…
the senior who never has visitors…
the woman struggling with her grocery bags…
and, yes, the I’ve-had-a-tough-week introvert too overwhelmed to ask for her coffee…
Those who notice, then do what they can to fix it.
Thank you, Noticers.
All of you.
Reach out today, my friends.
(Photo by Adrianna Calvo from Pexels)