Coffee Can Theology
The coffee can is storage for multiple items; its diversity is far reaching.
My mom had a print by a Tennessee artist, Lee Roberson, called Home Sweet Home. A robin is building a nest in an old Maxwell House coffee can. God’s creatures even find uses for those discarded cans. My dad had a line of those cans in his workshop. Nuts, bolts, nails, big screws, little electrical gadgets, and even grease rags were just a few of the mysterious things Dad tucked into those cans. For some reason, my Dad seemed to know the contents of those cans even though he did not label them.
It may be in the DNA or something, but I can’t seem to part with an empty coffee can. Like my Dad, I seldom mark what is inside of them either. Sometimes a lid disappears but there is always use for the can anyhow. The plastic coffee containers just do not have the charm of the metal ones so I relegate them to small cleaning buckets.
Dad could ask me to go into the workshop and bring me the can third from the left, and he would know what he was getting. If only we could be that dependable in our Christian walk. Jesus said that we would be known, not from the outside, but from the abundance of the heart. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34)
The outside of the can was not as important as to what was inside the can. Sometimes Dad did know it would be the blue can, second from the end, for instance, but most of the cans were about the same size and same brand. He knew what he would find inside. It might be a dry wall nail, or a roofing nail, or electrical tape. When we are known to be a Christian, the container needs to hold speech that is honoring to God. Don’t surprise your listening neighbors with hate speech, or critical words that cause shame.
While it is important to bear a testimony of purity on the outside, let’s make sure we bear testimony from within. Of course, God expects us to be pleasing to Him, and in doing so, we will be pleasing to others. We will bear the expected product. God knows what is in the can; there is no wisdom in trying to hide anything from Him.