I wish I could make coffee as good as my brother. I have been trying ever since he visited us in Belize and shared his secret with me (one medium-sized-sorta-heaping-tablespoon of coffee per eight ounces of purifed water…I hope I don't get in trouble for telling). I call this the "Adam Tablespoon" to clarify because it is somewhat more than a leveled tablespoon and a little less than a heaping tablespoon. But, I must still be a little off, because my coffee never tastes as good as his. Mabye I need to invest in new tablespoons. Still, I keep trying.
My friend Lisa is another one who can make great coffee. It always tastes gourmet and then she laughs and tells me it's Folgers. So I buy Starbucks beans and Fair-trade brands and even Folgers, but it doesn't seem to work the same for me. Still, I keep trying.
I try at a lot of things that I don't feel like I'm all that good at. Like forgiveness. That is something I don't always get "just right." Is forgiveness supposed to be exact or heaping? Cheap or expensive? Easy or hard?
Last week I was making bread from scratch. My mom warned me the night before to hide the rising bread dough as my children would be very curious in the morning to poke the beautiful dome of fluffy, light flour and yeast.
I forgot. It's not that I didn't want to heed my mom's advice. I've learned over the years that mothers are always right, whether you like it or not. I simply forgot–tired I went to bed with the bread rising on my cupboard. In the morning, I went to the kitchen immediately remembering my mom's wise counsel. But, my memory served me too late as I stared at the sunken loaf of bread sitting on the counter.
"Jordan!" I called.
My little boy came running, "Yes, Mom?" His eyes eager from rest and ready for a new day.
I was still groggy (from lack of good coffee in the morning). "Did you poke this bread?" I asked.
"Yes, Mom. I wanted to sample it," he said, eyes connecting with mine…then realizing his answer may not be acceptable he quickly added, "I'm sorry, Mom. Do you forgive me?"
"I know you were curious, Jordan, but you really need to ask me before you help yourself."
"Okay, okay, Mom," he said, ready to please and asked again, "Do you forgive me?"
"Yes," I said turning to the coffee pot, calculating my brother's formula for fool-proof coffee. Still the flattened bread stewed inside of me. I was irritated by my little boy's curiosity and a bit annoyed that my mother is always right and bothered that I'm continually tired in the morning. Thinking about all this together heightened my aggravation like the rising bread dough until I was provoked to start the conversation all over again, "Jordan! Why did you have to poke the bread? I really don't understand…"
"Mom," he interrupted me out of my series of thoughts. "Mom…you already forgave me for that."
I was silenced. He was right. Just like my mom. Kids can be very right. I was measuring out my forgiveness instead of serving it in heaps. I was telling my son that my forgiveness was linked to expectation. My forgiveness had restrictions–I wanted Jordan to earn back my approval.
"Jordan, you are right. I forgive you. That's the end of that."
I baked the bread and surprisingly it turned out very well (put butter on anything and it is good…shhh! Don't tell my mom!). And even my coffee seemed tasty this morning…not perfect, but good. And I think that is exactly the point.