Monday, February 18, 2013

Wilderness Yearning: Monday in the First Week of Lent

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
   I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
      Psalm 52:8

“I know why I don’t make good coffee.” My husband looks at me quizzically. “It’s because I’m stubborn.”

“Actually,” he says gently, “It’s because you don’t grind the beans finely enough, so the coffee is too weak.”

But the truth is I know the reason I don’t grind them more finely. Because I am certain my method of grinding them more coarsely is correct. Even though I have watched my husband grind the beans more finely, even though he drinks the coffee and I do not, I persist in my stance that I am right, and he is wrong.

Pure stubbornness.

For some reason this morning I am able to admit my obstinacy. “Well, it’s because I read once that when using a French press to make coffee, you need to use a courser grind rather than a finer one.”


“So I assumed that I knew better than you did.”

“Even though you don’t drink coffee.”


A smile twitches at his lips and he answers me with more generosity than I really deserve at this moment. “Well, see, this grinder doesn’t do finely ground beans. It is just right for the French press.”

“Oh.” And I know this conversation is not really about coffee. It is about living with someone for a long time and learning to love enough to admit sinful pride and to love enough to forgive sinful pride. It is about trusting in God’s mercy, which teaches us to be merciful to one another. It is about being willing to be flexible, like a green olive branch, and giving oneself over to the love of God and the love of one another.

It is about being given the grace to repent.

copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2013