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Coffee Redemption

Coffee Redemption

Ohhhh!” she cried.  I turned to see her mouth open in amazed confusion and her arms outstretched, a cup in one hand. She’d selected a cup from the shelf for her morning tea. She didn’t expect it to shower her with coffee. 

Her coral shirt, beautiful against her pale skin, was soaked. I grabbed a cloth from the sink. She went for the paper towels. My apologies were met with her assurances that the coffee wasn’t hot and there was no harm. Together we knelt silently to wipe the puddle on the tiled floor. 

“I was trying to find the one with hearts on it,” she explained before I began my litany of I’m-so-sorrys. My shamed face kept a downward gaze as I sponged. 

It was the morning of the third day of the retreat. I was on kitchen duty and had arrived cheerfully early for chores. I poured my java and without thought rested my cup—coffee on the inside and hearts on the outside—on the shelf that housed empty mugs. 

There it sat, just waiting to douse the start of Debra’s day. 

She headed to her room to change.  Meanwhile, trying not to cry over spilt coffee, the lump in my throat stuck like a thick chunk of unchewed bread. 

Debra was a minister. Though I’d only known her for two days, her gentleness was undeniable. In minutes she returned for breakfast with a fresh blouse and a kind smile. 

“It was nothing. Really,” she said, touching me gently on the arm. Tears of embarrassment welled in my eyes. While I imagined the mess I’d made of her morning, she forgave as quickly as the coffee splashed.  

I replayed the scene in my mind throughout the day. How thoughtless I’d been. How I turned her hour of peaceful reflection into an irritation and inconvenience. How I’d made a mess of it. 

After our mid-day meditation, Debra approached me.  “I have a favor to ask,” she said. “I washed my shirt and hung it on the clothesline. I’m afraid I’m going to forget it when we pack to leave tomorrow. Would you remind me?” 

In her generosity, Debra offered me an avenue to make amends. Rather than allow me to wallow in overthinking the incident, she gifted me a path to restoration.  Instead of focusing on my failure, she let me be a helpful friend. 

That evening our paths crossed in the narrow hallway where our rooms were a few doors apart. 

“Be sure to remember your shirt,” I said happily. 

 “Got it!” she smiled back. She’d forgiven me from the get-go and gave me a chance at self-grace. 

Redemption filled my heart to the brim. 

Coach Koenig 

Have you been obsessing over a small mistake? 

Is there a path to redemption you can offer someone who has hurt you? 

If you weren’t focusing on a failure, what might you focus on?      

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful reminder. Often forgiving ourselves is the hardest. ❤️

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