Growing up one gift that I was given was the taste for coffee. Now there may be some of you reading this that may not understand because coffee may not be your thing. My grandmother began giving me coffee when I was young, I think I may have been in Kindergarten, maybe. She first taught me to drink it with cream and sugar. Some may wonder what possessed my grandmother to give me coffee? That is a funny story in and of itself that includes and article she read in The National Enquirer and her concern for me and my asthma. She had heard it was good for asthma and later we found this to be true.
My mother was not the happiest about me drinking coffee, but for me it was something that I learned to enjoy with my time with my grandmother. My mother tried to get me to stop by telling me that if I wanted to drink it, I would have to drink it black, so I began drinking it black. Now I enjoy coffee black, sometimes with a treat creamer, and have also grown to love lattes and, a wonderful treat, a flat white. Most of all I enjoy the times when I can sit and enjoy a time of conversation over coffee.
In High School and then in college I used to love going to Perkins in my hometown or other coffee shops to sit for hours at night drinking pot after pot of coffee and talking about anything. It was the fun interaction and the craziness of the time as I would get together with friends sometimes to study but other times just to hang out. Many of these friends were extremely creative and unique. We would discuss poetry, theater, and music. The great thing of these conversations is they always had some spiritual facet to them. Unfortunately at this time, my faith in Jesus Christ was not what it is today, but my love of coffee and especially opportunities to talk over coffee are still something in which I find pleasure.
Growing up I was taught by my grandmother that two things were not discussed in polite conversation – faith and politics. Over coffee, though, this rule was suspended. My grandmother and I would talk politics and religion, often in the same conversation. The reason was that over coffee it was a safe-place, because you only usually share coffee with someone that you are willing to open up with. There is a different level of intimacy over coffee, an intimacy that the world often forgets. A safe place for men to come together and open up in ways that they may not normally open up, men and women are in an open field in which it is safe to be open and honest and not have any of the hangups that come with dinner and the like. It is a safe place for friendship.
My wife is my best friend and our conversations over coffee, though not as uninterrupted as they once were, are my favorite time. For me it is also a good thing to reflect on Jesus Christ and what he has done for me. As I enjoy coffee and delve into the Word I become renewed and reinvigorated especially if I have been tired out with life and all things occurring. As the Psalmist writes in Psalm 42, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” I can always find comfort in my God. Sometimes it is good to just take a moment with a nice warm cup of coffee, a warm cup of joe, to offer a moment of air that allows one to just stop, take a breath, and reflect. Just like I love to spend my time with my friends over coffee, it is good to take a moment and spend sometime with the greatest friend we can ever have, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Smell the warm aroma and relax…he’s listening.