This mama needs coffee. We have a frame in our kitchen that holds the Pinterest-worthy quotation: “All I need today is a little bit of coffee & a whole lot of Jesus”. Okay, okay so in reality I don’t truly need that bit of coffee, it is all Jesus, but that is not to say that a few sips of coffee hurt after a night of waking up every hour for your sick babe. Coffee and prayer are two parts of my morning routine. They go hand in hand. Literally. I have one hand around my bible and the other around hot ceramic. As I sip and read, I truly wake up to the Word, the Truth. While of course I do not need that hot cup of coffee in the morning, there is something about sipping coffee, while reading my Bible that allows my mind and heart to really focus in on Jesus. When Lance and I used to attend church at Reality LA, we both served on the coffee team. I loved serving on this team. I loved making the big batches of coffee. I loved meeting new people and handing them hot coffee or even iced coffee in the summertime. I still so clearly remember what one of the leaders said in an initial meeting before we joined this team. They told us the importance of coffee ministry. They told us that it is more than just pouring out coffee and tea. Just like with hospitality and opening up your home, there is power in the details. While it is and always will be centrally about Jesus, that doesn’t mean that a glass of good wine or a latte from a really good coffee shop, can’t be part of the ministry to turn people to Him. Coffee is not going to bring people to Jesus (that is the Holy Spirit), but as I attended that meeting before serving on the coffee team, I was reminded that everything we do has the power to help bring people closer to knowing the grace and love of God. It can be as simple as handing someone a cup of coffee and a kind smile. I don’t know about you, but I definitely seem to think better and be more inspired and more creative and motivated, when I have a pretty mug in my hands. Again, it is just small details, but I truly believe God made coffee for us to enjoy whether that be alone at 6am with tired eyes or together in a crowded coffee shop.
So do I need coffee? No. I survived nine months of pregnancy without it. I don’t need it, but it does help me get up early even after a night of extremely broken sleep so I can pray and read scripture and be reminded that the Lord is faithful and He sees my weariness. Just like there is something powerful that happens when people gather around a table with good food and conversation, I think something similar can happen with good coffee. For Lance and I, coffee shops are important to us. Before we even began to date, it was a slightly run down coffee shop in Venice that brought us together. Coffee was the excuse. Work was the excuse. Really what we wanted was to better know each other. So we spent hours at that cafe on Pier Street. Drinking coffee, talking, working, dreaming. The coffee at this cafe was not even that great. It definitely was not like Intelligentsia or Blue Bottle, but for us it was the experience. There was something charming about the place. It was not fancy, it was actually quite grungey. The coffee was served in paper cups. Everyone inside seemed to either be brilliant or homeless or both. And it was one of our favorite places. For us this cafe, was not even about the coffee, but it was through the coffee and the need to work, that our relationship started here. After a Sunday evening working at this cafe together, Lance drove me home and told me he liked me. I can remember every detail of it. I remember his nerves, his Honda Passport, the conversation that began with “So I have been talking to my mom…”. And I think even in that moment I knew this was more than just an “I like you” conversation. This was serious. This was real. There was gravity in his words. This was more of an “I am in it with you for everything” conversation. Even then, I knew that conversation in the LMU parking garage was the start of our lives together. You might not believe that, but I truly did have a sense that everything would change from that point forward. This moment is one of my very favorites with Lance and I think it will forever be linked to the mediocre coffee on Pier Street.
See? Coffee brings people together! Actually, Jesus brings people together. Coffee is just a little detail. Coffee is good, but Jesus is better. Much better. Think of the most expensive, fancy cup of coffee. Think of that $15 cup of coffee they sell at Blue Bottle. Obviously that must be good coffee, but Jesus is infinitely better. Of course He is, you’re thinking. What a silly comparison to even make, you’re thinking. But I would question, do our lives always reflect this? Do we wake up in prayer or do we wake up first grabbing that coffee? Do we say I am so exhausted I need Jesus? Or is it coffee we ask for? Coffee is good. Coffee wakes us up. But, Jesus saves. In my life, I hope to always first chase after the Lord and if I happen to find a good coffee shop on the way, that won’t hurt.