You have perhaps heard of telling fortunes from tea leaves in the bottom of a cup. If my memory serves me, a cup of tea is brewed, the client drinks it, and the pattern of the tea leaves left in the cup’s bottom aids the fortune teller in predicting the client’s destiny.
It is Sunday afternoon and I have been curled up on my couch with a book and cup of tea. Not much different from any other Sunday really. Except for two small variations: the book was not a fictional novel, but rather Captivating, a book about women and their design, an assurance that all women are beautiful and captivating because they are endowed with those qualities from their Maker; and I don’t usually drink tea.
So. I have read this book before, about 3 years ago, but felt lead to read it again. Saying the reunion has been life-changing would be resorting to a tired and under-appreciated cliché. This reunion has been perspective-changing and life-renewing. It has performed the task of pre-op, exposing the wound, cleaning it out, and preparing it for the Master Surgeon.
But, you are now asking yourself, how is that relevant in conjunction to tea? Question no more – I shall tell you. I came to the last swallow of tea, so I tipped back the cup and drained it. It was then I saw it. At the bottom of the cup were the tea bag and my face, perfectly reflected. I stared back at my own eye for a moment, startled at the thought that occurred to me, In the bottom of my cup is His design, fearfully and wonderfully made, and this design has a distinct and wonderful purpose. That’s better than any fortune!
This thought was neither an acknowledgement of nor trust in physical beauty. Rather, it recognized that what I was seeing was a symbol—a reminder—of what He has been revealing to me about design, value, and purpose. I– and every woman in existence—am, as Theodore Roethke says, “lovely in [my] bones” because that beauty is an expression of God Himself. Beauty in form and spirit is a characteristic of God’s, and we are made in His image!
I don’t need a smattering of soggy tea leaves to tell me my life’s path. A simple glimpse, however, of my God-created reflection speaks volumes to me of His character and His plans. It is then I can say to Him, I “realize how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me” (“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan).