God Stuff

More Thoughts On God And Coffee


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Wait for it…

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That’s my alarm.

Every. Morning.

The thing about alarm clocks is they tell us that it’s time to wake up. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to wake up. Waking up means work, phone calls, emails, paying bills, balancing check books, balancing demands…it means I have to be an adult.

And I don’t want to be an adult.

But, I get up anyway.

And I stumble downstairs.

And I make coffee.

Coffee. Pure, sweet, nectar of the gods.

Now the process of making coffee is far from genteel. First, a living coffee bean, totally minding its own business, is plucked from the tree. Killed in the prime of its life. But it’s not enough that the bean has to die. It’s then roasted over an open flame, ground to a fine powder and stuffed into an airtight container for shipping to God knows where. To add insult to injury, I take this finely ground powder and scald it with boiling water. Then after extracting every bit of flavor, I dump what’s remaining into the trash.

Next, I make toast. In an equally gruesome process, a nice, soft, fresh piece of bread is held to within an inch of glowing hot electrodes. Burnt to a crisp.

When you think about it, I break five articles of the Geneva Convention every morning before I even take a shower.

Sleep becomes awake.
Coffee beans become coffee.
Bread becomes toast.

There are several immutable laws of nature. And one of them is change.


It happens to the best of us.

It happens to all of us.

It happens all the time.

Some changes are small, with little to no lasting impact. We change clothes, we change the channel, we change directions, we change our mind.

Some changes are large, with impacts that affect our lives for years to come. We change jobs, we sell our homes, lives are lost, and relationships end.

Changing jobs means saying goodbye. Moving means, packing, and cleaning, and apparently buying fluffy pillows (more on this one later). At the end of a relationship, there is loss. Death.

Change, even when it’s for the best, almost always requires an element of pain.

Whatever the reason for the change, we find ourselves in a new situation. The way we have defined ourselves for so long, no longer applies.

Change, even when it’s for the best, is disorienting and confusing.

A butterfly, after experiencing metamorphosis and breaking free of its cocoon, on it’s maiden flight must look down at the ground below and say, “Holy crap, that’s a long way down.”

There’s a New Testament story of a Jewish rabbi named Saul. Saul is zealous in his desire to wipe out the followers of Christ. After receiving letters of introduction in Jerusalem to the synagogues in Damascus, Paul sets out to arrest the Christians and bring them back for trial. Along the way, Saul experiences a divine presence in the form of a bright light and a voice from heaven saying “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” When Saul asks who is speaking to him, the voice replies, “I am Jesus.”

Saul is stricken with blindness and led to Damascus where he fasts for three days. After this time a man named Ananias is told by God to find Saul, heal his blindness and baptize him. Saul becomes Paul and goes on the preach the message of Jesus for the rest of his life. Eventually Paul even writes 13 of the letters that make up the books of the New Testament.

Saul felt pain. Saul felt disorientation. Saul experienced change.

The manifestation of God in a way tangible to the human senses is referred to as a theophany.

Have you ever experienced a change so painful, so all encompassing, so disorienting that you cried out to God for relief? Have you ever asked, “why did this have to happen to me?” Or, “how can I possibly get through this?”

Have you ever asked, “where ARE you God?”

If so, you aren’t alone. Even Jesus, in his death on the cross cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus wanted a theophany.

But it didn’t come.

Too many times in our lives we long for answers or relief.

Why is this change happening?

Why, even if I have initiated this change, does it have to be so painful and disorienting?

I don’t know.

I do know that you aren’t alone. God is there. God is there in the phone calls from your family and the support of a friend. God is there in the love you share every day.

Look around. Do you know someone that is experiencing a season of change? Be there for them. Listen. Hold their hand. Give them the space they need for their own metamorphosis.

Change. It happens. It’s painful. Don’t be alarmed (pun intended) when it is. It only means you are in the process of waking up to something new, and strong, and beautiful.

Like coffee.

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