Starbucks Relationships

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“How about a Starbucks coffee sometime?” This is my usual opening line when I want to connect with someone. Yet I did not realize how effective it was until I had to host my first women’s conference in Houston, Texas a few years ago. The significance of this was having arrived in Houston in 2008, new to the city, new to the United States, with no friends or family nearby. But I had developed an avid and genuine interest in people. I truly wanted to hear their stories and I truly wanted to be a source of encouragement and support.

The idea of the conference was met with a lot of skepticism and objections from some of my close friends. “Do you think anyone will come? Isn’t the price per person excessive? Why do you have to use a hotel, why can’t you rent a room at a local school?”

On the balmy December morning of the conference, the beautifully decorated hotel ballroom began to fill with a steady stream of strange and familiar faces—my Starbucks friends with their friends and family in tow. Radiant faces, wide smiles and gentle hugs created yet another stream—the tears quietly coursing down my cheeks. Even more touching were the comments—the Starbucks chats had touched someone’s life, the Starbucks chats made someone feel that someone really cared, the Starbucks chats had pulled someone from the brink of despair. The Starbucks chats were flowerbeds of beautiful lifelong relationships. Have you thought about how to grow meaningful relationships? How about a Starbucks with someone sometime?

“Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9 ESV

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