Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion March 20, 2019

What do you do with old coffee cups?  I’m not talking about coffee cups that you just don’t use anymore - but coffee cups that have cracks and chips and handles missing, especially the ones with the handles missing.  I’m expecting that if I could hear your responses most of you would say something practical like - we throw them away….. Makes sense.
Not me.  It is not that I am a hoarder but with few exceptions all the coffee cups I have are coffee cups obtained from places I have lived or destinations I have visited; or touristy locations my children have visited because when they decided to bring a momento back to dear ole’ Mom they would bring me a coffee cup.  
So when one of these coffee cups develops a problem which makes them un coffee drinkable - because I do put away my fair share of coffee - I hesitate to throw them away because they are items which bring back memories.  I have a couple broken cups from the Observatory where my husband use to work; and a broken cup from the Marine Chaplain office at Camp Lejuene which has quite the story behind it…..  I have several broken Presbyterian Coffee cups which one would expect considering my profession.
So what I have done is repurposed these broken coffee cups which sadly can no longer be used for coffee drinking.  If you would ever see my desk (I pretty well keep my desk from public scrutiny because it is rather scattered.  There is this malady I have which prevents me from putting one thing away before I move onto the next which I guess if you saw my desk and if you dug through you could figure out everything I had been working on!) on my desk are currently four broken coffee cups.  One has pencils and one has pens and one has markers and such and one has accessories such as scissors and a hole punch and various tools such as that.  (I’m assuming you actually believe that these coffee cups are that well organized……).  But the point is the coffee cups are now serving a purpose other than their intended purpose but they are fulfilling that purpose very well!
If you go into my home, you will find much the same thing.  There are coffee cups in every room of writing implements and office tools and various other quickly needed items.  However at home the coffee cups have spread out their usefulness.  Many of my broken coffee cups have become plant holders (obviously only the handleless and chipped ones because if I used the cracked ones there would be no water left in the cup and the plant would not be very happy,)
Most rooms have at least one coffee cup containing water and a plant.  My intention was for the plant to be a temporary resident of the cup until it was well rooted and I could transfer it to some dirt and a nice ‘real’ pot of its own.  However over the years I have left some of those plants in the water in their cup because they are very happy there with no signs of really desiring dirt or a pot of their own so they remain in their handleless broken coffee cup from somewhere in my past and they are very happy!  
Scattered around my home are coffee cups from my college and my college years and from the rock and roll hall of fame and  my one trip to a Nascar race and several others that I cannot currently recall (which means that now I will be forced to walk around my house looking at coffee cups because I will ponder which other ones are there as I try to be productive and get work done this morning)….
There are times when we feel broken and chipped and cracked and our obvious conclusion is that in our brokenness and our chippedness and our crackedness we are no longer useful.  Somehow we think that if we aren’t able to do the things we have always done before; or if we can’t do the things we want to do; or we can’t do the things we think we ought to be doing that we are no longer valuable, that we are no longer necessary, that we are no longer needed or that we are no longer worth anything.
You are not what you did or think you should have done or think you ought to still be doing.  Your identity is not in what you do, your identity is you.  My broken coffee cup is still from Magnetic Hill even though now it is a plant rooter rather than a coffee holder.  
You are a valuable child of God even if you can’t get on a 5 foot ladder and wash your windows; you are still a valuable child of God even if you can’t stand on your feet for 8 hours and work in retail; you are still a valuable child of God even if you can’t do everything you use to do each day.  You are still a valuable child of God even if you have been excused from your employment for whatever reason…
So take a deep breath and remember you have a God who knows every hair on your head (or every hair you use to have on your head) and knows exactly what you have done and what you are capable of and what you can do. Don’t dig in your heels and think that you are only worth something if you are doing ____. (fill in the blank).  My broken coffee cups would tell you that they are just as important to me as pencil holders as they were as coffee containers.  
And you are just as important to God regardless of what you can or can’t do, are able or aren’t able to do…..