Sunday, July 18, 2010


by Elisa Morgan

I didn’t used to like coffee. I was a “tea” girl instead. Coffee was – well – it left a “hmmmphghhhh” taste in the front of my mouth. Just behind my front teeth.

Throughout high school exams, college finals, even in the months of early motherhood where I blearily stared at the bundle God had entrusted to me wondering how I would ever manage to feed, bathe and clothe the thing, I didn’t drink coffee. I didn’t like the taste. To be honest, I was a little judgmental about friends and folks who did like coffee. After all, how could they?

And then, in my mid-thirties, it happened. I was minding my own business, seated at a round banquet table having just ingested the chicken dinner. I picked up my dessert fork to tine a bite of chocolate cake into my still-hungry mouth. And then, without really noticing, I reached for my coffee cup that was usually a teacup but had been filled with coffee by some thorough wait staff person. Without noticing its contents, I raised it to my lips.

I sipped. I slurped. I drew my head back and peered at the contents. Something was off. I stared at the espresso color. I swallowed again, ran my tongue against the back of my front teeth, puckered my lips and breathed out and in amazement. I took another sip. I liked it. I liked coffee.

This same stunning surprise has occurred over and over in my relationship with God. There are lots – oh so many things! – that I don’t particularly like at first.

Interruptions that draw my attention off the oh-so-very-important project I’m buried in and on to – get this – a human being. I raise my head from my task and squint at the person before me and am somehow strangely more gratified than I was just minutes before in my all-consumingly vital task.

Disobedient dogs who go running after balls in the middle of the dog park and don’t come back even when I scream their names so loudly my husband can hear me on the deck of our house a mile away. And then they come back so happy, and muddy, and slobbery and oblivious to their error and eager to love and be loved. And I laugh. A concrete illustration of all the very real issues I can’t control in life.

Yep. There are lots of things I don’t like. I honestly think I finally started to like coffee partly because I’d matured to the point that my mouth could take in its offering. But also because I let my guard down – the piece of me that had staked a side of my identity on not liking coffee.

Looking back at my dislike and then like of coffee has made me reconsider all the other things I haven’t liked, and why. Disobedient dogs. Interruptions. Middle of the night tug of wars. Perplexing unanswered prayers. Here’s what I’m discovering: after sitting with most “unliked” things and eventually inviting God to sit with me in them, I start to sip, slurp and eventually draw my head back in surprise deciding: I like it. Sometimes begrudgingly. Sometimes just sorta – but I like it more than I don’t.

Know why? I decide I like it because I like God. And if he’s allowed it and if he’s in it, well, then I guess I like it.

Today I like coffee. Who knows what I’ll like tomorrow?


  1. For me, liking coffee didn't happen until I hit 50. I think it began when I needed a little more energy than my beloved tea could deliver. And now, I find that I cannot tolerate the caffeine--but I still like the coffee (iced only, though).
    For me, seeing God in these things has been, and still is, an ongoing process, and a delightfully surprising one. We are all in a process, hopefully maturing well and continuing to learn new things about ourselves, about life, and about our Lord. With a stronger relationship with God than ever before in my life, I am much less afraid to try new things much more intimidating than coffee!! (But you will note that I said "much less afraid"--I'm not quite fearless yet.)

  2. I love this post :) I can only say that I TOTALLY RELATE! Hehe :) I feel like part of my identity is wrapped up in not drinking coffee... I am 27 and still holding to it, but we'll see what happens! I love how God changes our hearts!

  3. There have been a few things God has worked on me to develop a "taste" for. Things like being more compassionate towards people who were not my "flavor." I know He still has many more things He needs me to mature into. Praise Him for being a God who never gives up on me.

  4. Always have loved your writing, Elisa. I'm there with you. In my case it was Brussel sprouts, top of my nasty list. One Thanksgiving my niece made them and I tried....Just look what I'd missed!

  5. "Even in the months of early motherhood where I blearily stared at the bundle God had entrusted to me wondering how I would ever manage to feed, bathe and clothe the thing..."

    Elisa, were you really referring to your baby as "the THING?" I find that quite offensive. I hope that you do now and always will have respect for that little bundle God entrusted you with. And I hope he/she never reads this article.

  6. Really you magazine is wonderful. Love it. Thanks you for the teaching and wise councel.
    Rosa Lydia Munoz

  7. Loved it. Nailed it. I have so much to learn from you, it's ridiculous. Now to find the brain cells I just know are in here somewhere...

  8. Learned to enjoy coffee: age 30, on a Habitat trip to Costa Rica
    Learned to enjoy writing in a journal on a daily basis: age 24
    Learned to enjoy reading the Bible every night before going to sleep: age 31
    Learned to enjoy chores and laundry: age 32
    Learned to enjoy the "dailies" of life and the joy of serving my family: age 32
    Brussel sprouts? Not yet.