Spilt Coffee / Spilt Heart

“I just really want to throw this stupid commuter mug in the snow right now,” I tell Nathan with a mixture of sarcasm and genuine frustration.

Hurrying through the snow towards our car with hot coffee spilling all over my hand, I complain to Nathan about how annoying it is that this new commuter mug is broken.

What on earth is going on? How is it even possible to design something so poorly? Why does the coffee pour over the sides faster when I tighten the lid? It’s not even that full. I watch with disappointment as my coffee freckles the snow.

“Here, let me hold the mug for you,” he says.

“Okay, if you really want to, but you know it’s super broken.”

I am dumbfounded by his kindness and calmness.


Later that evening, I laughed with Nathan over how dramatic I had been about that broken mug. It was a simple mug of coffee. Only a few tablespoons had been lost during the unintentional spilling episode. But the scalding sensation on my hand made me angry. The entire design of the mug made me angry. And it made me angry that Nathan has to bear with me in my angry moments. Nothing helps you see your brokenness quite like being watched in the midst of it.

God uses things like that broken mug to light up how I am broken. I am broken over the wrong things. I am broken over the “injustice” of things not going my way, over things that I “deserve” to be easy but end up being hard, over things that “should” take five minutes but end up taking fifty. These are dangerous assumptions to carry in your heart. Sometimes it is God’s great grace to me to allow a coffee mug to break so that he can show me where I need him to mend me.

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