There was always a different crowd around the corner table by the pick up counter with this gentleman as the common denominator, and after I first noticed him, I started to pay attention. He listened to people. He encouraged them, laughed with them and hurt for them when needed.
I watched and listened as he helped one of his friends plan their much needed vacation and while he comforted another friend whose house was being foreclosed. He would try to find something in common with each person he spoke with, and not in an "I've already been there, done that" condescending sort of way, but more of an "I understand, I'm in your corner" sort of way.
In spite of my love affair with coffee, I'm not a regular at any particular Starbucks, so it took awhile before I popped up on his radar.
First it was a few casual "Good morning!"'s with a smile and nod, and then a, "Oh, you ARE here!" when he saw me sitting outside.
This morning, sitting across from a motorcycle cop at the table next to me, he leaned over during a lull in the conversation. "And, how was your weekend?"
For some reason, his indiscriminate, gentle but relentless pursuit of friendship reminds me of Jesus.
I don't anticipate us becoming BFF's or anything, but I'd be willing to bet that there's a lot I could learn from this man about loving the people around me.