(photo by live life loud)
Friday I spent a few hours at our local Starbucks. I was focused on some work that I really wanted to get done before the weekend. 'Bucks was packed.
In Utah, Starbucks is different. I've only been to three stores out there (all of the stores within 12 miles of my house), and am disappointed with every one. They are slow. They make drinks wrong a lot. They don't have the charisma from their staff that Starbucks is known for. But, how could they? They live in Mormon-ville. Mormons dont' drink caffeine, so their clientel is very limited, and so is their employment pool.
Going to these Starbucks has been strange for me. They are cold and empty, and just don't feel the same...
Spending an afternoon in a real Starbucks again was great. I've only been in Utah for 5 months, but still I was surprised by my experience at my neighborhood 'Bucks. After I had been there for about an hour, I started to be more observant of the parties around me. I was completely surrounded by [Evangelical] Christians. In Colorado Springs this is pretty typical, but in Littleton, i was caught by surprise. The woman next to me was writing a final paper (i assume) for some Christian course - probably either at Denver Seminary or Colorado Christian Univ. There were ladies sitting on the couches exchanging stories about their missions experiences in China and Kenya. There was a lady beside the door reading her Bible and writing in her journal who had come up to them to ask questions - she had overheard that they were missionaries.
"Hi, i'm so sorry to disturb you, but do you love the Lord? I love the Lord!" she shouted with such joy and anticipation.
And i rolled my eyes as I hear these women near tears, talking (rather loudly) about their time with other cultures overseas, finding a kinship in each other through similar experiences and through a mutual love for God.
For the first time, i really understand what it feels like to be in the religious minority, even though in this instance I wasn't.
It's amazing to me how coffee shops attract the Christian crowd in many places. And I guess even I was sitting down working on a student sponsorship program that helps kids living in poverty around the world to receive a Christian education. And Starbucks is my favorite place to go and read and write in my journal. As I've previously mentioned, the coffee shops are where I have met with ladies for prayer and accountability and Bible studies. And there is nothing wrong with that. I was just so surprised by my annoyed response to these womens' interactions. I was surprised by my amazement when i realized that I was surrounded by Christians.
It is pretty strange to be on the outside looking in...