Two double pump mochas

Two double pump mochas

I head off to the street with a backpack filled with water, socks, and granola bars. The first person I stop to talk with has no interest in me, or my backpack. If looks could kill I would be cremated ashes scattered over the sea of I hate you. Undeterred, I walk across the street. There I see two of my favorite things. Starbucks and homeless people. I have recently received a twenty-five dollar gift card to the coffee monster and am itching to use it. I introduce myself to Joe and David and we become fast friends. We know some of the same people and agree that sweeping homeless camps is unhelpful. They tell me how all of their clothes and belongings are now in a King County storage facility somewhere as a result of their camp being swept. “They come in with police and a giant dump truck. They give you twenty-six minutes to leave.” The conversation moves toward future hopes and goals. We talk about David’s family history of suicide and the street friends he has lost. David tells me that what I am doing is a good witness to the love of Christ. I am encouraged, especially after my previous exchange up the street. The kind words of homeless friends always refresh my soul. The sweetness of Christ dwelling among us. “Hey, I have a Starbucks gift card. Do you guys want anything?” Without hesitation, “Two double pump mochas please.” We go inside. Starbucks is warm and friendly. I am fond of the staff here in particular. They seem to know the homeless customers by name and treat them like regular people. We get our coffee and arrange to meet tomorrow. Joe wants to get into housing and needs I.D. I always loved getting Starbucks gift cards when I was a mail carrier. It is fun to bless people living on the streets with glamorous coffee. Sweet treats always lead to better conversations and practical case management. “How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103 NLT).”

Michael Cox

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