Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fill My Cup


     A few weeks ago, Pat and I took a ride to Millerton to visit Harney’s Tea Shop.  Lest you think that Harney’s is a Victorian style tea house with lots of lace and delicate breakables, let me assure you it isn’t.  A man can feel comfortable and at home at Harney’s.
     I am a coffee-by-choice kind of girl, but thanks to my grandmother, I do appreciate a good cup of tea.  Pat has always preferred an occasional cup of Lipton’s over coffee in any form.  After visiting Harney’s, however, Pat has become a tea snob.
     Harney’s is a delightful place to while away an afternoon.  More than three hundred different teas line shelves to the ceiling in the tasting room.  The names of the teas were intriquing:  Florence, Midsummer Peach, African Autumn, Golden Monkey, and Malachi McCormack.  There were other teas from faraway lands that I couldn’t even begin to pronounce.
     A knowledgeable young lady offered us a sample of a Japanese green tea that she had just brewed.  It tasted just as horrible as I remembered from my eleventh grade social studies class.  Pat swigged it down in two gulps.  I sipped it politely and despaired that there wasn’t a nearby plant I could secretly pour it in.  Seeing my pursed lips and pained expression, the young lady took my cup and swiftly poured several loose teas on the counter for us to savor the aroma of.  They sure did smell delicious.  Pat zeroed in on one to try with the romantic name of Paris.  In the movie Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea,” and it was.   A few minutes later, a perfectly brewed sample of Paris was placed in our hands.  The fragrance that had attracted us to this tea filled the air around us.  Pat may have groaned with delight.  Even I had to admit that Paris was amazing.
     Pat and I enjoyed a delicious lunch in their cafe.  Then we selected some teas from their store;  Paris for Pat, Chocolate Mint for Patty, and Florence for my mother-in-law Florence, because who can resist a tea with their name on it?  Pat had to have the tea mug with the strainer, the perfect spoon to measure the loose tea with, and the timing instructions for brewing his perfect cup at home.  Pat has been continuously brewing tea since then. He reminds me of his father, Paddy, who always cheerily set a cup of tea before everyone that came to visit with love and acceptance.
     Have you ever been in hot water?  It may be the loss of a loved one, difficulties with a son or daughter, sickness, or trouble at work.  Do I become anxious and irritable or do I turn to God and allow His Presence in me to be revealed?     Hot water releases the taste and fragrance of the tea.  We should choose to let our trials make us better not bitter.
       Our relationship with Christ pours out and influences everyone around us.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life…   ~2 Corinthians 2:14-16
     As we go through the week, may we be cups that overflow with the presence and aroma of Christ.

Pat has a new favorite travel mug for tea.  You can find it here.

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