Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Amazon, Oughtness and Grace (by Judy)

Our blog is called the Coffee Pot Gospel for good reason. We love drinking coffee, and we love the lingering God-centered conversations that take place over thick steaming mugs on tables surrounded by books and papers. Though Starbucks and local independently owned equivalents are wonderful, my favorite place is right in my own kitchen, where I can relax and enjoy the light pouring through the east and south-facing windows.

That is why a weeklong melodrama played out with emotion and a satisfying conclusion. The bare facts – after years of thermos style coffee pots, we bought a beautifully designed Krups percolator. We loved the coffee it produced each morning; until the day that I banged the glass pot against the granite counter, cracking the base, and rendering it useless. I went to Amazon, where I had bought the original pot, to order a new carafe, only to discover the model has been discontinued. In rapid succession I called the Krups headquarters, searched every Krups service center, stormed the internet, and finally turned to Amazon in defeat. I could not replace the carafe, the new coffee pot was useless, and I felt Amazon had a joint responsibility with me, for I broke the carafe, but they sold me a discontinued model.

Well meaning friends and family counseled a forceful approach and stern threats. I decided to show a different face, hoping that someone might see a connection between my methodology and my Christian faith. I told Amazon that they had no legal responsibility. After all, I broke the carafe. But I said they had a moral responsibility. I told them that in the end, I would remain a customer. Just a disappointed one, if they didn’t do what they ought.

Within hours I received the “oughtness” reply – Amazon said they would replace the entire coffee pot. Forty eight hours later, it was on our counter, and our kitchen was filled with the fragrance of perfectly brewed coffee, and perhaps the fragrance that the Bible speaks about – the fragrance of the gospel of grace. In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, we are reminded that when we fully surrender ourselves to Jesus, then we will be a sweet fragrance to those around us and to God! Martin Luther King, when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, said, “I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘is-ness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘ought-ness’ that forever confronts him." I wonder if Dr. King enjoyed a good cup of coffee?!


  1. Martin Luther King, you and all the saints share the joy and grace that comes from following Christ! We need to be reminded now and again what that means. When we reach out in 'oughtness,' and overcome 'is-ness' we shine His light. May you continue blessing us with this wisdom and may we apply the same!

  2. What a fantastic story! Amazon didn't get to be a fabulous company by doing what was only expected.

    Sort of reminds me of Jesus in John 10:10 - living life to the full. Abundant life.

    Now, I think I'll go brew myself a cup of coffee.