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  • Writer's pictureChristina Koenig

An opportunity (not) missed...part 2

I write this tonight as a (unexpected) continuation of my previous post about "An opportunity missed..." (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do before reading this'll understand a bit more of where I'm coming's the link I'm not proud of it, but this post will start quite similarly to my first post. You see, life is just busy as of late (honestly when is life not busy) and lots of stress going off for the last week and a half...personal stuff I've been going through recently, lack of sleep with mom/work/student life, my daughter got very sick right after Thanksgiving and I ended up spending good chunk of the day in an urgent care with her the Monday after Thanksgiving, now I'm sick...What can I say, life has just been happening. Yet again, here I was throwing internal pity parties (quite frankly over some stuff that didn't even deserve the stress). Yet again, here I was being thrown a much needed curve ball to readjust my perspective...and at Starbucks of all places. Still trying to figure out if that was just a coincidence or I have a slight coffee addiction??

That's besides the point though. Where was I? Oh yes, I had just finished up a long run of 10 miles (total sanity saver for me) and was on my way to meet my family for my nephew's birthday party. I decided to stop at a Starbucks near the location of the party so that I could get a coffee and banana as a treat for after the run. I place my order and soon after, I noticed someone that looked familiar. I wasn't a hundred percent sure though so I took a closer look. You see, he was obviously homeless. He was physically dirty, his clothes were not the right fit, and his shoes were falling apart. He also had blisters all over his face, which were obviously the handiwork of the sun and time spent etching it upon his face. I looked at what he was drinking and noticed it was an ice cup of water and free sample of coffee. Does any of this sound familiar? You see, it was "him." All of a sudden my rough and stressful life, didn't seem so rough and stressful. If all the stuff that had been going on in my life over the last week and a half was the worst that was happening to me, then man I had it good.

I soon heard the barista call, "Christina!" (a small part of humanity that we often take for granted) so I went to pick up my coffee and quickly heading to him. I stopped in front of him and he looked at me strangely at first, but I told him one simple word that completely lit his face up. Hello, "John." He didn't recognize me at first so I reminded him of last summer and asked if he remembered me buying him a drink then and he quickly remembered me after that. John stood up and with such respect and admiration for me and he shook my hand, like I was something special and deserving of that...when at the end of the day, as a human I am no better than him. He asked if I would join him for a coffee and of course I said yes. I offered to purchase him a drink, but he turned it down and said he was just happy to have company. We talked for a bit, I got to know John a bit more, and we shared a part of humanity that we all should be participating in. Humans, Christian or not, should look out for each other without judgement, regardless of the situation we find ourselves in. While he sees me as helping him by doing something kind and acknowledging him as John, and not that homeless man, he doesn't realize how much he helped me as well. Opportunities that neither one of us missed.

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