It’s sort of a chilly morning here in northeast Kansas. Seventeen minus a few more degrees on account of a “gentle” breeze blowing from the north. The kind of morning that makes you wish the outdoor chores could go a little faster and your gloves were a little thicker. By the time Randa and I got back up to the house from the horse shed, my thumbs were tingling. (Ever since some prolonged winter exposure back in January of 2011, they’ve been a bit sensitive to the cold.)
Seemed like a mighty fine time to brew up some fresh coffee. So, I metered in the designated dose of fine grounds and added a generous topping of pumpkin pie spices, set the pot in place, and flipped the switch on.
A couple of minutes later, I noticed the pot was all steamed up. “Humphh,” I mused to myself, “must be colder in the kitchen than I thought.”
Another minute later, Randa asked me, “Did you put water in the pot? Something’s not right over there.”
“Water. For coffee?” Now, there’s a concept!
As it turns out, even the really nice coffee makers do a better job when you add water to the reservoir.
Seems a little odd, from a certain perspective. Something with as little flavor, something as totally ordinary, something so mundane as water… and yet it’s so crucial to making a good cup of coffee. Even though Pop Herndon used to say, “It doesn’t take nearly as much water to make a good cup of coffee as your grandmother seems to think it does,” he would agree that some amount of water was necessary to the project.
Mundane as it might be, nothing more than a convenient vehicle for delivery, it’s still absolutely essential to the experience. I’ve never seen anyone sit down on a wintry morning and start chewing on a tablespoon of coffee grounds and say, “Ah, man, this really hits the spot!”
Now, you take as another example something as weak, as ordinary, and mundane as a human being… you really just shouldn’t expect much. But you add in a bit of the Spirit of God, add a smidgen of the love of Christ, add a bit of the hope of heaven, and just the slightest touch of faith, and… oohoowee! Lord have mercy! Just look at what they can do!
Salt of the earth, flavor of the heavens, spark of the immortal. In vessels of clay.