A Fragrance of Love

coffee

The aroma of fresh coffee sends me to bed every night as I lock the doors and my husband grinds the beans for the next morning’s automatically brewed wake-up beverage.

Smelling that rich dark roast, I feel hope as I say goodnight to the day. Inhaling is an invitation to the Examen for me, and I make my resolve for tomorrow. The promise of a cup of coffee to greet the next day sends me to bed a little freer. Whatever today’s failings and shortcomings, tomorrow I will be greeted again by a fragance of love, because my husband makes the coffee as an act of love.

He’s not just preparing coffee; he is making a statement of love—without using words. I have to be paying attention and hear with my heart.

Before leaving on a business trip, he sets up a pot of coffee to start the morning after his departure. He makes enough so I can reheat some the day after that. How can I describe the love I feel as I fill a mug and head to the car? My husband’s simple gesture invites a loving response.

But today is different.

I slam on the brakes. And only belatedly do I realize that my tall coffee cup had no lid.

Coffee now covers my porous floor mats, my sandaled foot, and my briefcase. Knowing that I’m on a freeway far from the next exit, and I’m already late for work, I make a choice. The 16 ounces of coffee will remain where they are as I continue my traffic-logged commute. And with that choice, I accept my imperfections—including rushing—and I inhale.

The fragrance of coffee is still tantalizingly beautiful. And I thank God for the love of the man who made me a cup.

And now that love is everywhere in my car. As I arrive late to work, I decide to let the coffee go. In the hundred-degree heat expected today, the coffee will dry and perhaps leave my car saturated with scents of coffee. The overarching emotion I feel deep within is gratitude. I am blessed by the love that went into that cup of coffee.

What small things do I do to make another person’s life more joyful?


Today in 31 Days with St. Ignatius, read Five Things the Spiritual Exercises Taught Me about Jesus by Becky Eldredge.

Image by Boemski under CC BY 2.0.

About Loretta Pehanich 24 Articles
Loretta Pehanich is a spiritual director and author of Fleeting Moments: Praying When You Are Too Busy. Steeped in Ignatian spirituality, she has more than 20 years of experience in ministry, including retreat work and small group leadership. Loretta currently works as a fundraiser in the Sacramento area. She and her husband have four children and eight grandchildren.

14 Comments on A Fragrance of Love

  1. WOW Loretta-this was WONDERFUL!! Thank you for recognizing the gift that God has given you–I came alive reading your words! Also, I have the same kind of husband..I always thank him for this coffee ritual he blesses me with but you took it to a whole other level and I am so grateful that you did! XXOO Linda

    • Thank you, Linda! I am glad to hear that God has blessed us both through this post. I am encouraged by reading about your experience. I raise a coffee cup to you and your husband!

  2. Some years ago, I visited a homebound Hispanic woman whom I called “mi amor” in her apartment. One day, she offered to make coffee for me. She turned on the faucet to hot, filled a mug with water, stirred some spoons-ful of instant coffee and lots of sugar. When I tasted it, it was the most terrible coffee I had ever had, but I drank it to make her happy. And I realized that it was also the most lovingly made coffee I had ever had. Lesson learned: making someone happy does not always involve doing something for another, but letting a person do something for me.

  3. “Making someone happy does not always involve doing something for another, but letting a person do something for me.”

    Thank you, Jess, for your lesson to me.

  4. Thank you, Loretta, for a wonderful piece which richly reminds us of God’s many, many “small” blessings – which, in turn, bring us back around to Him, and deepen our love. My wife and I have cherished for years our quiet early morning time together with coffee (which I have prepared the night before!). It is a spiritual drink in a way, isn’t it? ?

  5. Wow! You too?
    I can just picture that cherished time.
    It’s a gift to find God in all things and that includes our morning joe.

  6. I love this! (and how appropriate that I sit here reading it while listening to my husband make the coffee, which he does every morning without fail). Your reaction to the spilled coffee is such a marvelous example of living with gratitude. Thank you.

  7. Thank you, Loretta, for reminding me that a negative (spilled coffee all over the car in 100 degree weather) can be a real positive if one looks at it with a spirit of gratitude. What an inspirational story! Thank you for sharing it and giving me something to ponder.

  8. Loretta,
    The journey through your love store was delightful! It brought back memories of my late husband’s morning actions as I would get ready for the day. He didn’t drink coffee but always made sure I got off to a great start! Yes, it’s love to go! Thank you for sharing your adventure.

  9. A beautiful, restful meditation and at the same time it provides a wonderful method to avoid stressful situations. I have to practice it repeatedly so it becomes my go-to spiritual tool when becoming stressed.

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