A Coffee Bean from India
Carol Shaw of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit. It shall also be for a strengthening of faith and preparation for witness. By its ministries an attitude of wholeness of body, mind, and spirit as a desirable end toward which to strive will be fostered. It shall be the means for providing leadership education for priesthood and member. And it shall be a place in which the essential meaning of the Restoration as healing and redeeming agent is given new life and understanding, inspired by the life and witness of the Redeemer of the world. -Doctrine and Covenants 156:5
A long time ago, when I was about 6 or 7, I was very impressed when my mother and dad welcomed visitors from the church into our home. In those days we belonged to the United Church of Canada. As my parents greeted these two people, husband and wife, I was introduced and told that they were missionaries who just came back from India.
I was interested in their stories, but what captured me most was a tiny coffee bean that had a small, ivory elephant engraved on a small lid. It seemed to be magic to me. When you took the lid off there were several small carved elephants inside.
I thought to myself, “I’m going to be a missionary!” Months went by, years in fact, and I would find myself grabbing a chair to stand on to retrieve the little coffee bean. Each time I marveled at how this piece of art could have been created. My mom tried to get me to focus on other things but the bean captivated my mind.
I don’t remember asking what a missionary did but only wondered about the how and why of such a special gift. When my mom passed away, I asked, “Who has the coffee bean?” No one wanted it, so it is now in my possession. I looked at it not long ago and found it cracked and dry, and some of the elephants were missing, but it still caught my interest.
In many ways, I am a missionary. It has shocked me in some ways as I realize how transformative that coffee bean was in my life. Such a small remembrance, yet so powerful. Surely God was present at that first vision of something so wonderful. I feel such gratitude for this experience hiding in the corner of my mind.
I am a missionary!
Wherever I am, God is here.
Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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