Who broke my coffee cup?
When I was a little girl, since I was the baby of six I was the last to join the daily rotation of dishwashers. You see, back then parents didn’t buy dishwashers, they made them; much like televisions did not come with a remote control, the kids were the remote controls. I hated washing dishes because I was never the dainty type of girly girl. I had a brother who was just 13 months older than me, I couldn’t afford to be dainty he was my playmate and we wrestled; therefore when it came to washing my mother’s china and fancy dishes, I would always break them. My mother loved fancy dishes and she loved to entertaining. One day my mom came home with brand new fancy dishes with the most beautiful coffee cups and saucers. Why did this day have to be my day in the rotation for washing dishes? She said, “please wash these for me so I can put them in my china cabinet.” Wouldn’t you know it, I broke one of the coffee cups. I refused to get in trouble again for breaking her dishes, so I guess I began at an early age to develop my critical thinking skills. I decided to secretly crazy glue that cup back together and my mom put it in her china cabinet with much joy and pride.
Keep in mind, my mom loved extending hospitality and entertaining. She was a nurse and worked the midnight shift, so one summer morning she decided to inviter her boss over for coffee after work. She was so excited to use her new dishes, I remember the joy on her face as she pulled them out of the china cabinet. I was full of anxiety this morning hoping no one would get the “broken cup.” Well guess who ends up with the crazy glued cup? I purposely stayed in my room all morning and all of a sudden I hear a bone chilling scream…It was my mom’s boss. The crazy glued coffee cup could not hold the hot beverage and it spilled all over her lap. It was later determined she suffered second degree burns on her thighs. I vividly remember my moms concern, embarrassment and disbelief. After her boss left, my mom came marching back towards our bedrooms with the most appropriate question…Who broke my coffee cup?!!! Can you imagine what happened next?
Fast forward 40 years later, I find myself asking that same question when I cannot hold or contain the goodness and blessings that my Heavenly Father has in store for me. I sometimes shy away from assignments or bigger tasks that I feel are a part of my ministry, because they seem to be “too hot to handle.” I sometimes feel inadequate or ill equipped for the work at hand. When I catch myself in doubt, I talk it out with my husband and supportive friends. I then seal the deal with prayer by pouring out my heart to God and telling him how I feel. I’m always amazed at how He responds. His love and reassurance is much stronger than crazy glue.
I sometimes will run into people who’s coffee cup is broken and they are not aware nor can they hold the goodness in store for them. It shows up when myself or others offer them a compliment that is meant to make them feel good, to nurture their soul and spirit and they will reject it. Even worse, they will point out something negative about themselves. At this point, I ask them to please accept my compliment and not rob me of the joy of giving. (Acts 20:35) Instinctively, I want to offer them some crazy glue, but quickly remember that didn’t work when I was a little girl. Growth and godly wisdom has taught me to point them in the right direction towards something much stronger with long lasting effects…God’s love.
I often think about when God gave his son the ultimate compliment at his baptism. (Matthew 3:17) Jesus did not reject that compliment, but fully accepted it and allowed it to prepare him for his ministry. He at the moment received love, acceptance, and approval from his Father, something we all need on a daily basis. So the next time someone is extending you a compliment, notice your initial response. Is it “too hot to hold in your cup?”
So I ask ladies…Is your coffee cup broken? Do you turn down greater roles in your life because of feelings of inadequacy or reject well meaning compliments, If so…what will you use to fix your cup?