Fact #1: I love coffee.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a coffee fanatic. I’m actually drinking coffee right now. (Shocker). Although I love all types of coffee, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert. I just really love the time spent with coffee.
There is something special about having a good cup of coffee in the mornings while you’re talking to Jesus. There is something sweet about offering a cup of coffee to your guests. There is something exciting about trying a new coffee shop. There is something reminiscent about a cup of coffee sitting between two friends catching up. There is something so classic about a tradition of spending hours with your best friend in your favorite coffee shop every summer.
I’ve loved coffee for years but I haven’t always loved coffee. When I lived in Russia, coffee wasn’t the main focus. Tea is their jam. Russians love tea and if you don’t take the tea offered to you, you will offend someone. In Russia, tea is the spine of time spent together.
When I was a freshman in high school, I moved to Vienna, Austria. It’s hard to live in Vienna without having coffee. Vienna is even famously known for specializing in their Wiener Melange (similar to a cappuccino). Living in Vienna without drinking coffee is like living near the beach and never swimming. Crazy town. So, with time, Vienna tuned my heart to the sound of coffee brewing. The point of this is not that coffee is tasty, and sometimes too expensive. The point is that coffee tells a story. Coffee is a subjective experience that is personal for everyone. In Europe, coffee is everywhere, and it is good. If you let it, coffee can bind people together. Stories can be told, burdens can be shared, prayers can be said, and life can be done together when we gather around a cup of coffee.
Ok really though, this isn’t all about coffee. There is a point.
Fact #2: I am super clumsy.
So clumsy it’s funny. Last year I was wearing my friend’s super cute platform heels and I was so excited to borrow them until I realized my center of gravity really needs some work. One second I was feeling a little bit like Beyoncé in these shoes and the next I was flailing around as my knees, then face hit the floor. Not a pretty sight, but so funny. So yeah, I’m clumsy, but I embrace it.
I got my ESV Bible as a graduation present, and it was just lovely. Crisp pages and verses already highlighted by my family and notes written in it specifically to me. So much love. It even has my name engraved on it, guys. So cool. Anyway, about two weeks after I had first gotten it, I took it to a Bible Study at the Urban Bean in Orange Park and I spilled coffee all over my brand new Bible. At first I was heartbroken because it took away the “brand new” look and feel. It also took the shine off of the edge of my pages. With time, I realized this is just a representation of who I am. I love Jesus and I love coffee AND I’m super clumsy so this was inevitable. Now, I’m proud of this coffee stain on the edge of my Bible. It shows character and personality true to myself.
Fact #3: My Coffee Stains Matter
Coffee stains are unavoidable. You will spill coffee on your brand new Bible, and it’s ok. Things will go great in life sometimes. There are seasons for greatness. But sometimes life is a little less than perfect and you get hurt and your heart has a stain on it. And it’s ok.
If I am being completely honest here, moving to America was a lot harder than I thought. Throughout the year, I had a couple clumsy moments and there are some stains stuck on my heart that have a big fat “T” all over them. (The ugly world–transition). At first I was so embarrassed of these stains on my heart, the same way I was disappointed that I had “ruined” my brand new Bible by spilling coffee all over it.
- Am I just not trusting God enough?
- Why are things so confusing in America if I am actually fully American?
- Am I just dumb because these things don’t come naturally to me?
- I must be going backwards, somehow.
But I am realizing that these T-shaped stains on my heart are not ruining me. These stains don’t make me stupid or unworthy of being used by God. They are actually making me more beautiful. I spilled coffee on my Bible but I chose to keep using it. I didn’t buy an entirely new Bible with no coffee, no notes, no highlights, no personal ties, just because one thing happened and it made a tiny mess. I’m learning it’s kind of the same way with God. He uses us despite our stains. He even uses those stains to tell a story of His glory and goodness. These coffee stains are a part of my story and I am so proud of them, now.
Sometimes stains don’t make sense. We don’t know why they are there or how they got there or why we had to be the ones that got the coffee spilled all over them. It might not make sense now, but I know someday I will look back and see the fingerprints of God all over this season of coffee stains. Until that time, I will continue to sip my coffee and praise Jesus for what He is doing in my life.
I hope those of you with coffee stains begin to see them as a piece of art painted by God to somehow help tell of His goodness.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
All my Love