I walked into a coffee shop last week where my gleeful mood soon changed to frustration and sadness. As I stood in the back of the line I was witness to two acts of “barista abuse”. The first, an older man in a suit ready to take on his day, evidentially wanted a warm up before getting into the ring at his office. He began to express his opinion on the barista’s attitude and competence. The second offender, a younger lady in yoga gear. She started off with a very short attitude over the ordering process. In my opinion, the lady didn’t know how to order the drink that she was attempting to order… but she continued the venomous interaction. My guess is, this barista didn’t wake up that morning longing to have her human competence questioned.
Needless to say I was over the top with kindness once it was my turn. I did my best to apologize for the two humans before me.
This bothered me all day. I don’t know what was going on the lives of the two customers in line ahead of me, but I was jarringly reminded of our fragility, and the importance of kindness. By the end of the very same day, I am certain I had failed in my own opportunities to be kind, loving, and even encouraging. In an effort of full disclosure, I am aware of how I operate when in a focused state. I tend to zone out and even respond with short / blunt comments (if I respond at all) so that I can “get work done”. Ask my co-workers or my family. I’m not proud of this.
There is a time and a place for blunt truth and critique. I believe this. However, no one tends to receive truth when delivered with no love. Some people revile in being jerks, or for being known as someone who doesn’t pull any punches.
Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justice, to love mercy (kindness), and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 7-8
When taking this portion of Scripture to heart in action, it can act as a filter to our attitude and awareness.
What if I said I knew one of the 2 persons who were the abusers of said barista? What if either of those abusers were you or me? What if we were the barista?
God give us patience, peace, and self-awareness as Your Kingdom come on Earth.