Transforming Our Coffee Culture
- May 16, 2018
- Meg Rodriguez
Recently, I made the rookie mistake of asking a new friend if she drinks coffee.
“Do I drink coffee?” she echoed, with a chuckle. “I’m absolutely addicted.”
My friend went on to describe her caffeine consumption and withdrawal migraines at length, and I realized that this so called “caffeine addiction” has become the norm in this workaholic, productivity-obsessed culture of ours. Our morning beverage has become a means to an end—a caffeinated crutch to make it through to the end of the day.
That same night, just before I fell asleep, I found myself drifting in and out of my own thoughts on the subject.
Before I could process much of what I was about to say, I whispered to my husband, “You know, I think that I might be addicted to coffee, too…but not in the same way. Not for the caffeine. I think that it must be the comfort and healing that it brings.” With the thought free from the tangles of my mind, I fell promptly asleep.
The next morning, as I brewed and poured myself a steaming cup of black coffee, my sleepy thought from the previous night resurfaced. It must be the comfort and healing that this brings that I love so dearly. I snuggled up on the couch and wrapped my fingers around my mug, letting the warmth spread into my hands and through my body. I felt the steam lift to my face. The smell was deep, and purifying. Even before that first sip, I felt rejuvenated. I felt whole.
In that moment, as I drank my coffee, I began to reflect upon where these feelings that I so cherished might have come from. For most people, a cup of coffee has been reduced to hardly more than a workday energy boost, gulped down in desperation—it has been severed from enjoyment, stripped of its meaning, emptied of its substance and power.
However, a pot of coffee might once have been a sign of shared conversation, of togetherness—a symbol of fellowship. I began to reflect upon the many events and milestones in my life that had transpired over a cup of coffee.
I first remembered a time a handful of years ago, speaking with a dear friend over coffee in a quaint café. With the hum of the espresso machine in the background and the clamor of life bustling around us, we were able to admit brokenness to one another—to refrain from feeling embarrassed as tears rolled down our cheeks and we reconciled a friendship. In that moment, over coffee, the Lord bestowed immense healing.
I thought of another coffee shop memory, this time a goodbye. In our last hour together before a long time apart, another friend and I poured our lives into one another, as our drinks sat between us on the table and grew cold. That day, as my friend locked me in a goodbye hug, I glimpsed our coffees on the table behind us and felt washed over with gratefulness for the wholeness that spiritual friendship could bring.
Coming back to the present moment, I looked at my own cup of coffee in my hands and realized how many other times it had accompanied me in my sweet morning time with the Lord, a time that I went to Him in devotion and prayer, seeking His daily sanctification.
So many times in my life, new friendships have blossomed, old ones have been renewed, and the Spirit has moved in me in big ways over simple conversations and coffee. Some of those moments unfolded on the outdoor patio beneath the warmth of the sun on bright mornings. Others were sung to the background tune of thunderstorm or snowfall. But the moments themselves were always reminiscent of one thing—the healing that God can bestow upon our lives in the smallest moments.
So, let us forget the caffeine craze, let us forget the drive-through windows and six-dollar lattés, and let us instead recreate the kinds of moments over coffee that the Lord has urged us toward in His holy word.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
Let us rekindle the spark of life in that freshly brewed pot, let us set out the cream and the sugar and a table set for friends, let us restore our morning cup of joy. Let us revive the fellowship and togetherness, for we might be surprised to remember just how much healing it can bring. When we gather in His name, our Lord is present. So over coffee, let us remind one another what makes us whole—it is living even the smallest moments together, relying on fellowship, and seeking the Lord always.
This must the reason why I simply cannot go without my morning coffee—for the sake of all that it has meant to me at life’s crossroads, for how it sweetly sings of the Lord’s ongoing sanctification in my life, and for the taste that it offers of His good, good gifts to us.