a cup of coffee.

Six thirty a.m. & I’m wide-awake. There’s no use fighting it. I might as well go run.

On the dirt road, I dodge potholes & students walking to school. Each passerby stops & stares as the mujungu runs by in her skirt. One boy recognizes me & yells that I’m late this morning. A smile crosses my face. A truck rolls by disturbing the scenery with a storm of dust, causing me to squint & run with my face down.

Thoughts whirl through my head pushing my pace & straining my breathe. Frustration gathers with each pound of my foot. Questions scream their way to God. Poverty, sin, grace, satisfaction, sanctification. I can’t empathize with the people. I can’t grasp the answers. I can’t fix anything. I don’t even understand my self. I turn around to sprint home.

I long for satisfaction in God. I am a Christian, isn’t satisfaction guaranteed with the package? Then where is it? I could analyze this in a big discussion of theology & philosophy. I could look up the definition of each Hebrew & Greek word. I’m good at wading in thoughts too big for my head. But how do I find satisfaction in God in the simple verbs of everyday living? In running, dancing, playing with children? How do I catch a glimpse of God’s radiance in something as simple as a cup of coffee? The simplicity daunts me.

Back at my desk, I stare at my own morning cup of joe. There’s no radiance in the drink today. The bold flavor lies flat beneath too much water & an ant has taken the liberty to make it his swimming pool. I stare out of the window, listening to the morning noise on the streets. Children yell as they chase each other to school. Across the road, I hear a class greeting their teacher in depressed English. Bodas rumble. Men exchange news. Life continues on as normal.

My frustration boils. How do I help these people? How do I embody love & grace? How do I teach independence of self but dependence upon God? Do I battle for justice or turn the other cheek when 2 windows are slashed & Alisha’s camera stolen? Do I answer the incessant knocks on our door asking for money?  Where is God’s glory in these moments? Frustration boils like blistering water over the sides of my heart.

As I turn to vent on the blank pages of my journal, my elbow knocks the brown coffee mug, sending morning comfort to decorate the walls & floor. For a second, all I can do is stare. Life stinks sometimes.

In the kitchen, I pour more water in the kettle to boil. Too exasperated & impatient to wait for the percolator, I tear open a VIA package & stir in the mocha flavored powder. A sigh escapes, materializing my emotions.

Birds whistle outside. Another boda revs his engine. A knock at the door. Greetings & questions. A thud on my roof, from who knows what creature. I sip my coffee. The sweet dark goodness melts my insides & I close my eyes & give thanks.

Then I understand. God’s gift to me: a good cup of coffee to show me He cares, even when I’m perturbed with His world. The first cup wouldn’t do. It wasn’t as pleasurable as Him.

A second sigh escapes. This time, a sigh of peace. Peace that comes when one is understood. When one feels Love. I may not understand this world, the people, or even my own walk with God. I may not have the answers or the capabilities to fix all problems. But right now, in this moment, I am at rest in my ignorance & weakness. I feel His presence soothe my scolding heart. He is near & I am calm.

Light shines through, filtered by my white curtains. The house begins to stir with breakfasts & quiet times. A bird serenades the moment from the tree above.

& I sip my morning’s cup of coffee.

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5 thoughts on “a cup of coffee.

  1. Beautiful imagery, v! Thank you for sharing. I love reading about your life in Uganda- you’ve taught me so much already! And you’re such a talented writer! I love this post. You capture much of what Gods been teaching me and I felt myself sighing with you as I read. Keep writing- God is at work across the nations through you!

  2. Thank you for this! You have encouraged me over and over. Thank you these beautiful peeks into work of Abba in your life. You are so very precious.

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