26 April 2010

Coffee Filters

Dear Friends,

First, just so you know, that picture above is entirely made from coffee filters. Cool, huh? Yesterday our church service was run by the youth members. I won't lie when I tell you that I was completely apprehensive about attending the service. I'm not into rock music or praise worship. It's just not my thing. I prefer tradition and liturgical services. I don't know if it's the structure of the services I prefer or the routine (which I guess is the same thing), but it suits my personality. So, when the youth director stood up and told the congregation that they were in for something different this Sunday I must admit that I cringed. I also thought that if I wanted to skip a Sunday that this would have been a good one to skip.

And, okay, I'm not going to lie when I tell you that there were 3 or 4 times in the service that I really wished I had skipped the service. I mean, for me, acting out a Lifehouse song with one of the deacons dressed as Jesus was a bit much... not to mention that the youth of our church (Bless them) are really poor actors. It was a definite cringe worthy moment. But, I give them total credit because I never would have gotten up in front of a congregation and done it, so, more power to them

There was one moment, though, that I would like to share with you. And whether you believe in God, the Trinity, or trees, it was a beautiful thing. The youth director explained at the beginning of the service that every seat in the sanctuary had a coffee filter and a marker. Unfortunately for me there wasn't any coffee to go in the coffee filter. I know, sad, right. I was a little upset about it. But, the reason for the coffee filter was even better than coffee. I know, scary that the coffee addict would say something like that.

For our confession, if the member was comfortable, you were to take the coffee filter, the marker and write down your confession. When you were finished you walked up to the front of the church and put the coffee filter in one of many crystal bowls filled with water. The tables were full of glittering candles and the bowls of water refracted the light beautifully. But the most beautiful part was putting your confession into the water and watching it be washed away. The coffee filters were white while the water was colored. For me, that's what Jesus is and does for me. I bring myself to him, covered with markers of all different colors and degrees of permanence. Some are harder to scrub off than others, but once admitted and turned over, they are washed away (or scrubbed off with a Brillo pad) and I'm left looking like myself again, only with a little more glint and glimmer from the candles that are on my table.

I had chills during this part of the service. Goosebumps. It was hard to think of what to write because I wasn't anticipating so much emotion from this small action. But translated into an entire congregation and to connect it to myself and how I bring myself before God brought me to tears. I think this translates to everyone. Very Message in a Bottle. I may start using this in my daily life. Writing down my prayers, confessions, even hopes and blessings. Dipping them in water and watching them be washed away and brought closer to the One that can help me with them. You should try it and let me know what you think. Turn it all over. Be washed and see how much marker comes off of you.

I hope you all have a blessed week. Love to you all,

p.s. Today is my 7 year anniversary. Josh, I love you more now than I did on that day. Happy Anniversary.


  1. I'm more of a pyromaniac, so every so often, I write down confessions or anything where my whispered prayers don't seem like enough and have a burn session.

    ashes to ashes...

  2. I am loving that idea Chimmy. We should do that on our road trip.

  3. Wow - that was an awesome idea they had. I need to send this to my pastor - would you mind?

  4. D - do it. It was an awesome idea and I loved it.