Sunday Challenge | Radical Generosity

But it surely isn’t Sunday already?!

Nope. But today is my last blog post of the week so I want to leave you friends with a simple, but very important challenge.

I worked for Starbucks from October 2009 to December 2010. Shortly after I started I had observed a peculiar influx of customers with trepidation. Sunday mornings brought in a downright nasty and stingy crowd of customers. And I quickly learned that Sunday mornings were the loathed working slot to all of my co-workers.

Every Sunday following my first observation of this particularly rude, impatient, and frugal bunch of customers I asked my co-worker John why we had such mean people on Sunday mornings. His reply pointed out that they were actually the church crowd. My heart shattered.

I defended my fellow believers but faltered quickly. Our busy time intervals matched up too perfectly (8-9am, 10-11am, noon-1:30pm), these customers in drive-thru were groups of families mostly, and we were the closest Starbucks to the mega church up the road.

In that moment it became glaringly clear that establishments that serve coffee and brunch are keenly aware that the customers they receive at these peculiar intervals on a Sunday morning call themselves Christians. That being said, shouldn’t we be the most loving, giving, and patient customers they receive all week?

Truth be told, I was one of only a few Christians working at that Starbucks at the time. Most of my co-workers held very negative views of Christians and one was even agnostic. My heart longed to lead them to Christ, but after experiencing the reality of a Sunday morning at Starbucks I felt like my presence and love would never be enough to bridge the gap.

So, to all you dear Jesus loving friends, I challenge you to be particularly generous, patient, and loving on your Sunday mornings. Let’s start with this one.

SUNDAY CHALLENGE radical generosity – tip you’re barista or waitress outrageously well.

The Man with the Pretty Garden

There are so many times in life when I feel I am all too undeserving of thoughful acts of kindness.

Josh and I live in a slightly shady neighborhood.  In fact, our next door neighbor had a burglar last summer. But I’ve found that any crazies stay away in the during the day.  This is important to me because I love to be outside and so do my furry lovers.  I take them for walks in the neighborhood almost every day.  Our favorite part of this walk is the park that is buried in the back corner of the neighborhood.  We always route our course to go there because when we get there I’m usually able to let the dogs off the leash to run around free for a while.  I’ve got my timing down like a science so that I’m sure to walk them when I know the park will be vacant or mostly vacant.

In this park there is a baseball field and this is where Haley and I like to play fetch.  After an exhilarating 100 rounds of retrieval she is parched and at the far end of the field there is a large garden with bird baths lingering at its fringe.  When we first started this walking habit Haley would suddenly ditch me and her stick to go gaze longingly at the bird baths, knowing they held water.

A few walks later I found one of those bird baths moved to the ground.  I wasn’t sure but I thought that maybe the man with the pretty garden was very observant and saw my thirsty pups.

Well today, about one year later, I saw that same bird bath in its now usual place in addition to another funny looking water holder and a very distinct dog dish full of water.  All of these water vestibules had recently been filled as little droplets still clung to the sides.  Along side this plethora of water options was a small pile of hardy sticks.  I have a hard time believing that all wasn’t intentional and my heart is so touched by this man’s very thoughtful gift.

The rest of my walk I contemplated ways to get a note of thanks to him for his kindness.  Maybe there will be more on that later.

Happy Saturday!