Jul 25, 2009

The Best Beans, Please

"Will the New Earth have fewer resources for human enjoyment than Eden did or than the world under the Curse offers? If you're tempted to say, 'But in Heaven our minds will be on spiritual things, not coffee,' your Christoplatonism detector should go off. It's fine if you don't like coffee, but to suggest that coffee is inherently unspiritual is...well, heresy."
-Randy Alcorn, Heaven

This made me smile. I'm loving Randy's book; sometimes he just tells the truth in spite of the hair-raised yowl it generates in our religiosity-loving souls.

No yowl this evening. I have often said that in Heaven the promises of smell will finally be fully manifest in taste. Coffee, specifically, has always been my example. Can you imagine if it were to actually taste as delightful as it smells? I've always somehow been sure that it will, without having ever definitively said to myself, "we will drink coffee in Heaven."

But Randy lays it out on the table, giving a whole little 2-page section to the question: "Will We Drink Coffee In Heaven?" He's addressing a much wider question, of course, but what me made me smile so was its appropriateness to my evening.

Yesterday I ran out of coffee and, happy with my new Costco card, gleefully bought a huge bag of replacement stuff. Dunkin Donuts. One problem - I discovered this morning. The kind I used to drink at Sally's house and loved was a different blend, a dark roast. The brew I made this morning, to my horror, I hated.

Enter Jesus. Yes, carrying coffee.

Anniebugs, who has been dilligently saving her pennies to buy the food for a bbq she was throwing her worship team tonight at my house, and who thus has NOT been buying any coffees or lunches or extras... showed up this morning to pick me up for a trip to the market WITH AN ICED COFFEE for me in hand. I guess it was celebration day :)

"So, a morning coffee from Jesus, eh?" you say, still slightly skeptical.

"Yes," I reply, "and another month's supply, too, this evening!"

Ryan and Betty, whom I'd never met until this evening, arrived for the bbq with supplies in hand for the making of iced coffee. Supplies they intended to leave, as Ryan has completely renounced coffee & caffeine (as of 5 days ago). An extra-big, unopened bag of Starbucks beans now sits on the shelf above the coffee-maker, along with a collection of intriguing individual serving packages of a Korean speciality coffee you just mix with water - milk and sugar already included. He and Tim both said it's great stuff.

Hmm... Jesus? Why do You sometimes just come out of the blue and treat something so inconsequential with such care? I know it's not about coffee itself, although it is certainly fun to have Your stamp of approval on enjoying a particular taste. (I guess if You distinguish between poor and good wines, and between regular meats and "the best of meats" Is 25:6, its outlandish for me to think You don't discern the taste difference between mediocre and excellent coffees.) But in the middle of the coffee-fun you're saying several important things:

1. Your love is not generic, but of specificity toward me, including all the ways a lover would be aware of the loved -- of her tastes, of her likes, and of how to care for her.

2. Nor is Your love passive. You don't sit back, point out to Your Father how we serve and love You, but never respond directly to us. You are such a responder -- vigorously, sincerely, joyfully -- to every little move of our heart. And sometimes You decide to make it impossible for us to miss that fact!

3. Our religous ideas get in the way of reality - Your reality. Yes, we'll have resurrection bodies. Yes, everything You made is good. Yes, the delights You designed for us are not sinful. Thus Randy accuses almost the entire Protestant population of heresy -- lightheartedly and accurately! It's the old difference between sacrifice (deciding to give You what sounds super-holy and self-sacrificing of us) and obedience (believing You enough to actually act on what YOU SAY, not on what we imagine You must want).

Oh boy...Heaven does not fall into the "sacrifice" category, but the "obedience" one -- happy souls, us, who are destined to obey the truths that emerge when the most powerful and loving Being ever, has focused His heart on loving us well!

Some unimaginable things await -- a New Earth, new waterfalls, new shorelines, [insert here, when one has a few extra eons, several 700-page volumes of all that He's designed], imperishable bodies to enjoy them with, and the real Man Jesus at whose side to explore them all. It's excessively more than I could ask or think.

(Oh, and along with it, every few days, a coffee date with God. Only the best beans, please, and some raw cream to smooth the taste!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you're a theologian and a humorist. that doesn't happen very often. it's a nice combo in you, though. thanks for posting!