Environment Communicates!

2-1-3532-6th-and-Union-Starbucks-Merchandise-Wall-Sept-11-11I’m at Starbucks.  It’s Pumpkin-Spice Latte season….did you know that?  Our pediatrician was in here this morning grabbing his fix.  In and out and on his way to do rounds.

Just down the bench from me is a family of eight.  EIGHT!   (Don’t they know what’s causing that??!)  I think the eldest child is about six.  The back-up barista took six orders in the time it took that family to navigate the pastry counter.   They are enjoying a fabulous family date.

My usual table is occupied by a college student.  She’s reviewing flash cards.

As I plugged in my ghetto laptop (because my battery has decided to vacation in the Bahamas….permanently), they guy in the Adidas ball cap showed me where to plug in.  He’s still cruising the internet….or something stealthy.  He’s super-secretive about his screen….and wearing all black.  Maybe he’s a spy.

Two guys who are too young to be old timers are sitting at the bar.  They’re talking with the barista and feigning interest in the newspaper….which feels antiquated at their age, I’m sure.  A Google app would probably be more their speed for information consumption.  Yet – they sit.

Who is hanging around your local coffee shop.  More importantly, why?

I’m here because it’s clean.  The sales shelved look more like artwork.  They use my name when I order here…and usually spell it right.  The patio is expansive – and someone is tending to it all the time.  The pastries are fresh.  When I walk in, this place beckons me to sit.  I’m welcomed here….if only for a moment or one of those marathon writing days (like today.)

Contrast that with the room where I teach Sunday school.  Three stacks of additional chairs say ‘Hey – don’t sit down….this is a storage room.’  The way-too-tan, totally blank walls scream ‘Oh my gosh, this is gonna be sooooo boring.’  The chairs circling every wall invite folks into group therapy.  And the ripped up, cob-webbed, award bibles look less like awards and more like props from the haunted house down the street.

I cleaned up that mess yesterday….because environments communicate.  What do yours say?

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Author: Darren Sutton

I'm a dad - husband - veteran youth pastor. I'm trying to follow God's call on my life, despite my own shortcomings & because of His unfailing love.

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