The leader of the missions team I went on as a teenager loved to shove a microphone into our hands and say, “Ellie, tell us what difference it makes to you to know Jesus, right here… right now.”
It’s a great question, if a little difficult to answer as a snappy soundbite in front of a crowd of young people!
What difference does Jesus make?
The next few postcards are going to be trying to answer that question, there are going to be many answers, but the first is that, for me, Jesus is like a cup of really great Latte.
One of the things I love about living in Cyprus is the café culture, especially the part where I get to meet up with good friends and drink (skinny decaff caramel) latte on a big sofa while we talk about all the things that are going on in our lives.
For me, this postcard -a massive cup of latte- represents three things about Jesus that I now know I couldn’t do without:
The first is friendship. The kind where you can pour out your heart without fear of being judged or rejected. The kind that doesn’t mind if you’re twenty minutes late and that you’ve got wet hair, or a bit of the kids’ breakfast has welded itself to your jeans. And the kind that has time to listen to all the tiny things that matter to you without yawning or checking its watch.
Jesus weeps with me when I cry, he laughs with me over the crazy things that happen in my life, he shows me things I would never have noticed, speaks perfect wisdom and pours it all out with unending, grace filled love. Best of all, he invites me into deeper and deeper friendship with him. He asks me to join him for coffee.
The second thing is comfort. This warm, sweet, milky drink is very like the ‘mellow birds’ my Mum used to make for me when I was a little girl. It fills me up, the warmth seeping into my bones, helping me to relax down into the comfy armchairs.
Jesus’ love for me feels just like that. It’s like being filled up with something warm and nourishing on a cold day. Sweet, comforting, and I’m sure much more nutritious than a caffe latte, his presence warms and transforms me from the inside out.
Thirdly, Jesus’ love for me (and you) is vast. Until last week I’d never seen a cup of coffee so huge it needed two handles to help you lift it but my lovely friend Jo ordered a grandissimo and this is what she got. We both laughed at how enormous it was and wondered if she’d be able to lift it – a massive, comedy-scale, giant’s kitchen of a mug containing a pint and a half of cappucino. More coffee, as it turns out, than she was able to drink.
And I drew that particular mug (but filled it with latte, because that’s my favourite) because I am absolutely confident that I will never get to the bottom of the cup that is Jesus’ love for me. It is bigger than I can imagine. And, not because of who I am, but entirely because of who he is, his cup contains much, much more than I can drink.