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Midweek Musings: The Smell of Coffee

April 13, 2022

By Jo Wiersema

Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and a variety of topics.

I. coffee cup

I found Jesus Christ at the bottom

of a coffee cup

like every other

coffee mug no mind

I am shaking with caffeine

and holiness

overwhelmed with love

restoration in

the world that pushed me down year

after year

Jesus has pulled me up

to say I am loved

at the bottom of my coffee cup

I came to faith with my nose stuck in a coffee cup.

I wrote this poem in 2017, just a few weeks before I got baptized, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

When I think of how I came to faith, the smells that surround my memories are those of coffee. When I didn’t know the hymns, the prayers, or the references made in the sermon, I put my head down and inhaled the smell of bulk made coffee. Coffee to sip when someone asks me a question I don’t know how to answer. Coffee to refill my cup when I’m hoping to have a few minutes to myself.

In the human life of Christ, I can’t say that I know he had an affinity or even a knowledge of coffee (though in the absolutely hilarious 2002 book, Lamb: the Gospel according to Biff, there is a light run in with coffee), but it’s what connects me back to how I came to faith. As we spend some time in fellowship with a donut and coffee, I’m taken back to my first days in the church, where even as the coffee runs out, there is a Christ who picks me back up.

I make my coffee at home now; I bring a large coffee mug you’re likely to see in my hand on Sunday mornings. This smell of coffee sits with me as I go through a morning routine of a devotional (Forty Days on being an [Enneagram] Eight) and my morning Bible reading. The smell of coffee and candles fill my prayer space, which is just a couch with a very comfortable pillow and a place to put my coffee without spilling it. Coffee is still incredibly intertwined with my faith.

The smell of faith for everyone is a little bit different.

Maybe it’s the smell of a well-worn Bible?

Or the church potluck?

Or maybe it’s the palm branches and then the lilies?

The smell of fresh Palm branches is filling the building as we go through this week. There is something clean about the smell of palm leaves and spring slowly springing outdoors. The creation of a new spring, as my plant-obsessed husband names the flowers peaking through the dirt on our walk, I give them human names so I might remember them a little bit better. The dirt, the rain, the smell of fresh life emerging from the long winter. It’s a nice reminder of God’s faithfulness through snow and ice and chilly days.

It's Holy Week y’all, stay blessed.


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