coffee and devotion

I miss this/you so much. Part of me wants to tell you this, go on and on and use a lot of piercing metaphors, but I don’t have/can’t take much time. Plus I’m not even sure it would be worth more than the plain words I just said.


It’s Wednesday. I’m still finding my semester’s rhythm, and I figured out at the outset (last week) that Wednesday has the most potential for the morning spaciousness I adore. Wednesdays I have just one class, which meets after lunch. And I put my workout into this morning, because embodied souls need to tangibly move and this soul-body requires appointments if that’s to happen.

Still, there’s space between (maybe!) getting up at the MTThF time/doing the morning routine and then my burst of muscle energy.

I take a while to drink my coffee, too—there’s the first cup, which flows briskly through breakfast, and the second, which is by itself. This is routinely true, by the way; it’s just that cup #2 travels to school on those other days.


Did I already tell you about my first spiritual direction sequence? Press of time, etc. previously mentioned issues, so for now I’ll say it was in… the early Aughts, I think, the girls were still little but I’d finished grad school… oh, yes, it’d be later, 2005 or 6

…because I had spaciousness in my day for big questions and bigger thinking, and when I work for hire that tends to get crowded out.

Anyway, today I was remembering one of Margaret’s gifts to me. She showed me a devotional writer’s coffee-cup contemplative prayer.

It wasn’t centering prayer with coffee, although it could be. Nor was it intercessional, or or or.

What it offered was a container for time, with an anchor in the senses, bracketed in a way that even the parent of small children can grant to themself.

While you drink the cup of coffee, holding the warm ceramic and smell-tasting the brew, sit on purpose with God. When you finish the cup, close the prayer.*

That’s it!


Like I said, I haven’t yet established a full rhythm. My square beats are getting stronger, but my syncopation’s still slipping around.

Today I walked from the back of the house back to the dining table (and coffee #2!). As I strolled, I glanced at my watch—7:40, workout not till 9—and it clicked: Oh, right, time for devotion. And coffee.

May these words of my mouth and all the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh God my rock and redeemer.

* That is not a direct quote, though I formatted it as if it were. I long ago recycled the photocopy, or filed it too thoroughly, and so can’t even give full credit where credit is due. Though maybe the credit truly belongs in the folk-wisdom of spiritual directors!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.