I know the day of the week by what coffee I’m making.
at least the process. on my days off I make a pour over coffee because I have the time and it gives the day a bit of sacredness that the other days of the week - the working days - don’t have.
I grind the beans minutes before adding them to the paper filter.
I pour using my oh-so-unique kettle with the long elegant spout.
I watch the grounds soak and listen to the stream pouring into the glass carafe.
It is beautiful.
watching the grounds you see a moment where the middle of the pile begins to cave in, sort of a coffee calamity where everything falls through and it closely resembles an accident involving very gritty brownie batter.
the falling through is what makes it beautiful. for the liquid to seep through, for “coffee” to become reality in the bottom of my carafe, something has to fall through.
to cave in. to lose foundation and sink down down down until I fill the grounds with water again.
it usually takes a cave-in for us to grasp reality. spiritually, emotionally, socially - something has to fall through for us to start looking for beauty.
perhaps this week you're experiencing a caving in…
a job that you thought would last forever has now become rote and unfulfilling and the bottom has suddenly dropped out.
the marriage you thought was perfect and without issue has turned on a word - a text - a message and now you’re wondering which marriage you’ve been describing all these years?
perhaps you’ve watched the events of racial strife over the last few weeks and you realize - finally realize - that there is a race problem in the United States and perhaps Lincoln and MLK Jr. didn’t fix everything.
perhaps you’re realizing that "colorblindness" when it comes to race is just a kind-sounding way of saying “I don’t care what happens to you.”
the caving in has begun. but what to do?
we start by knowing that God is with us in the cave in.
we then begin to think about how we move upward.
then we pray for the courage for the hard stuff.
we have a conversation with ourselves we should have had a long time ago about contentment, gifting, purpose, and priorities and we realize our job is not our life but it can allow us to find life.
we level with our spouse about the state of the union in our marriage - we say we’re sorry, we begin to treat the past wounds we keep digging at with every fight, and we go see someone who will help us know where all the bile and belligerence that rises from within us is really coming from.
we read a book, one like Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy or Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me or Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow and we open ourselves up to seeing things from a different angle. Or we watch the documentary 13th. Or, maybe, we talk to someone who is of a different race and we actually listen to what they have to say.
what do we have to lose, honestly? it is all caving in anyway.
may we know that God is God through the cave in and the rebuilding. the God who caused beans to bear their flavor under the heat of roasting and the pressure of brewing also carry us through the heat and pressure of our reality changing before our very eyes. and may He help us to echo His own words about the swirling and whirling and wistfully playful world: It is very good.