I have two daughters who work at Starbucks. My daughter Leslie, pictured here, has worn the green apron for over a year and loves her job. She loves the ‘regulars’. She likes the pace. She likes the routine. She likes, well, everything but the coffee (But, that’s beside the point).
She recently switched stores. She was instantly off-balance at the new store. The 2% is on the right side of the refrigerator instead of the left side. Their lids were in a place that slowed down each drink by a few seconds and that bothered her. But, what really bother her was that she didn’t know the people.
This became even more clear to her this past week when she turned took a substitute shift at her old store. The regulars came in, some made special trips just to see her. One stayed after her shift just to catch up. She loves them and they love her back.
She was relaying all this to me, telling me what it was like to go back and she said something we all need to hear. She said, “It was so comfortable to go back to the people I worked with that I knew and love. It was so great to see the ‘regulars’ that were glad to see me. And I guess that’s it,” she continued, “It’s just harder at the new store. I don’t really know my coworkers, though I’m slowly getting comfortable with them. And, I just have to work at reaching out to the ‘regulars’ at the new store. I haven’t been there long enough.”
I hadn’t seen anyone make that kind of effort in a long time. So, her words rang true — it IS hard work to get to know new people. And, that’s why we don’t.
That’s why a small group wants to stay together for seven years and no one can make their way in. The work is harder than either the group or the new person wants to admit. That’s why neighbors don’t know who lives down the street. That’s why people are scared to death when they head to church for the first time. That’s why people will come to a class on evangelism, but don’t really want to use what they learn.
It is HARD work to love people. Just ask Jesus.