Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Barista's Lesson

This weekend I learned a very valuable lesson. I was at my in-laws and the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday as many of you know it, we decided to go shopping for 2 Christmas Angel gifts. These are the gifts for kids who have much less than many of us and who wouldn't have a Christmas if it weren't for generous people like my in-laws. Often times I wonder if these people actually need gifts, or if their an average welfare recipient milking the system. Anyway, it would have looked very selfish if I refused to go, plus this was going to be a day filled with shopping and people I love, so I was in.

The Lewis's live in a long valley that has quite a population of people but no "real" towns. Thus, we were headed to the closest city but stopped at a little coffee shop along the way. I've been raised in a very plain world. Nothing fancy and no big "to do's." Hence, I have no room being judgmental. It must have been the fact that we were stopping to get a ritzy cup of java that I let my elitist self, unknowingly, slip up.  We had ordered our coffee and were standing back waiting to get them and be on our way.

Like usual, everyone else was looking around the store at the cute signs etc. while I was honed in on every step the barista made. I took note of how long he steamed the milk, which cup pile he picked from and even the diameter of the beans he  ground. When the cup was filled and it was time to pour the remainder of milk on top, he did something extremely peculiar. He pulled the cup right up to his face. So close, in fact, that he looked somewhat strange and I was afraid he was going to breath a heap of germs into my long awaited cup of coffee. Just when I was letting all of these crazy thoughts into my mind, the barista set the cup down to reveal a beautiful art piece on the top of it. On my mother-in-law's cup was a white heart with a brown, coffee background. On my cup he designed a Christmas tree to set the holiday mood.

It is funny isn't it. I was headed out to buy gifts to bless the poor, little, needy kids. I was spending time with family that I needed to bond with. But, until that moment, my heart really hadn't been in the right place. I was doing all of these holiday rituals out of duty, but the "coffee making man" turned my perspective around. No matter what other's actions are, I have no room to judge them. It goes right back to that verse in the Bible about getting the plank out of your own eye before you worry about the sliver in your neighbors. I'm thankful we stopped for that cup of coffee because with the Christmas season full speed ahead, now my heart will be better in line with where it should be. 

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