Black Coffee and Listening –
Begin Again: A 7-Day Devotional By Leeana Tankersley
I’ve started getting up at 5 a.m. Not every day, but more days than not. This is an anomaly for me. Normally, I am addicted to sleep. But this pre-twilight pocket, between night and morning, seems like it has something for me.
I sit and drink black coffee and listen and write. Undistracted. I write on the top of my paper:
God, what do you want to say to me this morning?
And I just listen, keeping track of a dialogue that sometimes arrives quickly and completely and sometimes arrives fragmented and unresolved. I have been asking God this question for a while now, but never in the dark, never early in the morning like this. I’m beginning to believe, though, that there are treasures hidden
in the darkness. And when you are beginning a journey of opening up, you need these hidden treasures along the way.
I chose the word listen for my word this year. The root means “to honor.” I love that.
Listening is about trading our trying for trust. This is how we find true rest, I believe. Listening is a begin-again kind of ritual. It’s never finished and it’s always possible, and it’s waiting to give us living and breathing gifts that are new every morning. We start where we are, not where we want to be, which requires a new level of honesty with ourselves.
But if I can sit in the truth that I am held by Love no matter what, I can and will begin again. God invites me to “seal in” this work, my listening, my trust, my held-ness. He says, Breathe and begin again. Keep coming to the table and I will keep showing you the way.
Set aside some time today for your own pre-twilight moment. Breathe, listen, and write down what you hear.
This is my devotional this morning and I had to laugh because Greg Mead bought me coffee this morning and said, ‘it’s black coffee-there’s no milk and no honey in the house “
I haven’t been able to drive in months so I haven’t been to the grocery store.. and forgot to place my Aldi order to get picked up so…. No milk, and no honey for the coffee.
But here I am, writing what comes to my heart after spending time with Jesus…
There’s this picture along with this study that hits me hard ..
“Fixed up”. . That’s what my Mema would say when putting on her coral lipstick, Mary Kay makeup and White Shoulders collection.. and I do mean ‘collection’ because she would layer on the powder, the cologne and the lotion until you could smell her coming from a country mile.
That’s how she “fixed up” and here I am, feeling like I’m just not “fixed up.”
Since the beginning of December, in preparation for cataract surgery, bought on suddenly by steroid injections to combat Covid, I’ve been unable to “fix up” my eyes… none of my trademark eye shadow, liner, mascara, or fake eye lashes and I’ve felt it.
I’ve felt blah, I have felt ugly, I’ve looked at the mirror and groaned with defeat as I tried to “fix up” the best I can without highlighting my best feature-my eyes.
Yet, while I’m moaning and groaning about how I look, my husband tells me that he loves seeing just my eyes without all my ‘stuff” on them and it makes me think…
God sees us without all our ” stuff” .. He wants us just the way we are… without being ” fixed up” , just willing to drink the black coffee and listen to what He’s saying without adding honey or milk-sugar coating the truth.
He wants us to be so filled with His love that people can sense it from a country mile just like they could smell my Mema’s White Shoulders perfume before they saw her.
Now don’t get me wrong… As soon as I can, I’m gonna fix my eyes up, and I’m gonna put on my fake eye lashes, coat on the mascara, line my lashes and stroke on the shadow… But I’m keeping my gaze fixed on Jesus, and I’m placing my order for milk and honey to sweeten up tomorrow’s coffee .
That’s the way He made me.. He knows good and well that I like things sweet and I like to look all “fixed up” but He loves me even when I’m not and He’s got a way of making sure I know that-black coffee and all!