It had been more than 40 days since I breathed in the deep abiding aroma of a fresh cup of coffee. 40 days since I wrapped my fingers around a warm mug. 40 days since I tasted the bitter, luscious, gloriousness of coffee.
This was Easter morning.
A risen Lord, and a celebratory reunion with my regular morning routine.
Those of you who have been around here long will know, coffee is a passion for me. It's a part of my waking and abiding moments in the early brushstrokes of the day. It's a joy in discovering new flavors and new aromas. It's a moment of community in the corners of a warm coffee house. Coffee is religion for me.
But coffee is also a vice.
It (or rather its potent caffeinated wakefulness) is an addiction, and in recent months more of a need than a want. So for the Lenten Season I decided to lay it down on the altar of self-denial and utter dependency on the one who journeyed to the cross for us.
I'm ashamed to admit it, but It was my one spiritual discipline practiced in the last few months. My quite times with the Lord fell away. My prayers diminished to periodic one word prayers. The Word lay quietly at the bedside table.
But no caffeinated drink touched my lips.
Easter morning as I slipped on my new dress - an old tradition and expression of newness and rebirth I still hold to - I looked down at my cooling coffee and opened my heart just enough for the the still, small voice to penetrate its hardness.
A conviction to be diligent, to not turn back from the plow. A teaching about the spiritual discipline of self-denial. And a petition to repent and return with my whole heart.
My hard heart became a crumbly mess in the moment and would continue to crumble as I worshiped and praised a risen Lord, as I joined in the reading of the scripture, as I fellowshiped in the community of the saints.
I confessed my anger over a promise yet to be fulfilled.
I confessed my distrust of a God who would allow an entire year to pass without bringing my child home.
I confessed my fears over newly forming relationships.
I confessed my wild and rebellious heart.
I confessed and I repented and allowed renewing to take hold of my dingy heart.
Talking with a friend Monday night and sharing my renewed and caffeinated heart, she asked me how it was going, this new conviction, confession and commitment. I responded simply, "Today is day one."
This prompted a laugh and a song, "Day One, Day One - God made light when there was none." A bit of Sunday School nostalgia and perhaps the perfect words for my day one - light penetrating through a dark and hardened heart.
The farther I walk along this faith journey, the more I realize there will always be day ones. There will always be hardened hearts and falling shorts. There will always be deeper levels of intimacy to be gained and leaps of faith to be made - an ever winding corkscrew journey of faith into deeper more intimate relationship with a risen Lord.