Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yet Another Confession

Okay, so I confess. I am a dripper. I am that person who cannot fill my coffee cup without dripping all over the floor, cabinet, or whatever else may be in the vicinity. As a matter of fact, it is such a common place thing that I almost feel like the ritual is incomplete without a splash or two to warm my toes. Strange I know.

There is something almost barbaric about it. A certain sense of defiance in this small little act, a declaration that, “Yes, I have coffee, the pot shall never run dry, and I care nothing for a few wasted drops that may stain the floor.” I didn’t mean to be a dripper. For years I fought against it, experimenting with ways of pouring that would prevent the waste of this almost sacred liquid. The really odd thing is I finally discovered a way to avoid this potentially embarrassing habit. Okay, so it was really Nathan who revealed to me that if I raised the lid a bit it would not drip.

And so now that I know this, I have a choice to make with each and every cup, and in the course of my day this is many. To lift or not to lift, that is the question, but I find myself reluctant to lift. Sure I have to go back and wipe down the counters and mop up the floor, but I like to drip. This morning, as I felt the comforting warmth on my toes, I considered why this is an issue.

A few of you, I am sure, are citing a tendency towards rebellion, and I can’t completely disagree. But against who or what am I rebelling? That is the crux of the matter. My tidy husband? God? Society in general? Where is it written that dripping coffee is a bad thing? As I began to really ponder the matter, I realized something.

So much of my life is marked by scrimping and saving. Trying to get me to release a dollar for more than an absolute necessity is difficult, as a matter of fact, spending more than twenty dollars for anything other than groceries makes me ill. When it comes to money, I have a financial goal, not the least of which is to pay off my student loans while still feeding my children. It’s the one issue that can make me worry, and not without cause. I have been in those places where meals where nothing but Ramen noodles and I was rolling coins for gas money. If you were to go over my finances for the last ten years you would wonder how I managed to exist at all. It is a modern retelling of the loaves and fish, baffling and nonsensical without the interference of the Father.

Please don’t think I am sharing this to evoke any sort of pity. I have survived, flourished even at times, but always with the knowledge that I was completely dependent on God’s provision. It is one of those facts that I have accepted with a certain sort of resignation, but one that can overwhelm me if I dwell on it for too long.

However, in all of those times, not once did I go without coffee. And if you know me at all you will know that I include coffee as one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. It’s always been like a seal or sign that he hasn’t forgotten me, no matter how bad other circumstances may be. As long as there is coffee I know that he is still watching over me. I guess it is my own personal form of manna, it appears each day in the measure sufficient for that time, and I know that while there may not be too much of a selection on today’s menu the essentials are there.

So I drip. I let that precious fluid fall in exuberant excess on my counter, floor, and feet. It is my tangible way of saying I have faith that he will not fail me. There will always be a steaming cup to hold to as I sit in my quiet place and commune with him. It is my declaration that I believe there will be a fresh pot tomorrow, or in a few hours. He loves me and provides even this seemingly frivolous token of his affection for me.

And I think this is truth we all need to contemplate from time to time. God is affectionate towards us, indulging our special tastes and desires. He fills our lives with small tokens of his care, so small they are easily overlooked and can go unappreciated. And yet there they are. Steaming away within our grasp and filling our world with wonderful aromas and tastes. In world full of monstrous trials and grand truths that is easy to discount or devalue this small pleasure, and yet what is more intimate than his provision for our simple delights? What speaks more clearly of a lover and friend?

It is humbling and glorifying in the same breath taking moment. The God of Creation loves me this much, this greatly and deeply so that my cup runneth over, and I am glad.

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