Sunday, June 5, 2016

God in My Coffee

It never ceases to amaze me how God reveals Himself during the most unusual times. My four-year old son loves to help me make my morning coffee. Even better if he can just make it for me himself. By this I mean that he loves to scoop the whole coffee beans into my hand-cranked coffee grinder, and grind the beans up for me. I do the actual brewing.

This morning - after I'd already had one morning cup of joe - he suddenly burst out, "Oh my gosh! I forgot to make your coffee! Daddy, can I make you some coffee?" I wasn't really in the mood for another cup, but I decided to let him go ahead and do his thing. I pulled the coffee beans and grinder down, got him a scoop, and away he went. Then I went off to the bathroom, leaving the door open so I could keep an eye on him and his little 15-month old sister.

The two of them sat there, hovering over the coffee grinder, slowly grinding the beans down. As they were working, I heard my son talking to my daughter, teaching her the art of grinding coffee beans. Of course, he's only four, so his words and method of teaching weren't exactly on point, and it certainly wasn't the greatest use of English grammar I've ever heard. But he certainly managed to make his point and actually did a great job teaching his little sister how to make coffee.

This got me to thinking, isn't this exactly how it is when we talk about God; whether we're talking "high" theology or just about our day-to-day, sometimes mundane contemplative encounters with the Almighty? For as much as folks clamor for precision and clarity when talking theology, ultimately aren't we all just like the four-year old trying to teach his little sister how to grind coffee beans? Our language inevitably falls short, our methods are not perfect, but in the long run we get our point - or rather God's point - across.

What's even more comforting is that our Heavenly Father watches and listens with delight as His children strive to communicate His ways, just like I listened with delight as my "big" boy taught his little sister how daddy likes his coffee made.

This is certainly not an argument against seeking after precision in our theological language. I think, rather, that it's a call to humility. We have to be honest and humble with ourselves when it comes to communicating infinite mystery, the Infinite Mystery. Human language is simply inadequate. We always reach a point where we simply have to let go of our language, and let God take the reigns. We also have to take comfort in the fact that, despite the shortcomings of our ability to communicate the mysteries of God, He still delights in our attempts. To Him be glory forever!

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