The stories I want to share: IV


I learned how to make great hot chocolate tonight. I thought mine was best. But I found out it wasn’t.

I can whisk up a batch of them in no time at all on our bus in a cold dark car-park. I can move a queue of youngsters … hot chocolate, tea, coffee, cold drinks – and a biscuit or two for you as well? Mine taste good. Mine come with banter and love. Mine is love at work.

But tonight I saw someone else making hot chocolate. On the same bus. In a different car-park. And with different youngsters.

I saw hot chocolate made differently. The powder first (check!). The milk next (what?). The powder mashed into the milk (too slow!). Then the hot water with a final stir. It would not “move a queue” as quick as mine. It did not come with so much banter. It did not need to.

His love was IN the cup. And his love was “in them” as they drank his hot chocolate. Love at work.

Len was his name. He also volunteers for Bar n Bus. I guess he would think me daft if I read this post to him. He just makes hot chocolate. On a bus. In a car-park. He has done that for six years he told me. Week after week. Love in a cup, Paul? It’s “only” hot chocolate.

I did not realise what GSHJ had shown me tonight until I came home and sat down here to catch-up on all your lovely blogs.

Because I see a determination, in some, to see only different ways of “making hot chocolate”. And I wonder why they seem to miss the love – the same love – our Lord’s Love for each of us – the SAME Love in each.

And I wonder …

If tonight on our bus in a (different) car-park, with a (different) bunch of young people, and a (different) bus team … just what would I have gained from dismissing this (different) way of making hot chocolate? How would I have loved better by seeing only the (different) making, the (different) time spend, the (different) queue shifting, the (different) “form”?

Would I not have completely missed seeing Love at Work?

So tonight I have to say thank you to God Soft Hands Jesus again as I sit here. And tonight I have to thank you. Because it took those few blogs AND tonight on the bus to let me see what I had seen. Not just “hot chocolate” or love.

Tonight I saw Love AND hot chocolate.

25 thoughts on “The stories I want to share: IV

  1. Another great post Paul; so much subtle insight… hot chocolate as an act of love… Wow!

    The only thing for me is getting my brain around hot chocolate in August, and even ore, young people waiting in line for HOT chocolate in August. I really must visit England one of these days!


  2. Your post warmed my heart and reminded me to drink my Milo ha ha! It is in a thermal mug, so it should still be hot. šŸ™‚ Now I have finished thinking about my stomach, onto more spiritual things :). Sometimes we feel like someone is crowding out the need for us or doing things very differently to how we have successfully done it, yet God seems to choose His “hands” for particular tasks and times. I remember when my friend started singing in the church music team and I became inwardly judgemental of the way she altered songs that “I had led much better”. What an attitude I had to overcome. What pride. She is still learning about songs which suit an individual vs songs which suit a congregation in terms of singing and following the melody, but I have no right to judge someone who is trying to faithfully serve God. Your post was a powerful reminder of this.


  3. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I read this last night and had to think about it and dream about it before responding. What God kept putting on my heart was, “Jesus is in a cup.” He is our Living Water. He nourishes us and gives life to us. His blood is the wine we drink to remember His sacrifice. He gives us connection. His life blood runs through our veins, our DNA forever linked. Jesus, our Brother. God, our Daddy. He bore the cup and its sin stew so we could stand before our Father, cleansed and forgiven.

    Jesus is hot chocolate in a cup. He is each ingredient we need for a perfect cup. He is the thought and care it takes to complete each step. The slow, personal, intentional mixing and pouring. He IS the perfect cup. And oh how we line up to drink Him in daily.

    Thank you so much for this, Paul. Your insight moves and astounds me.


    • There is a lot to be said for simply sitting here in front of the screen and keyboard without a thought in my head as to a reply and say: “Ready Lord ….”

      However we make it, no matter the ingredients, the way we mix or don’t, whether it appeals to anybody else, whether anyone else approves of our mix – as we offer our lord and Father a cup of “us with love” – it is perfect for Him. And he will nod His approval and smile His smile and say Thank You with all His Love and more.

      And when He offers His cup to us in return, it will be a cocktail especially for me or you or someone else. A mix of stuff we may find palatable, bitter, too sweet, or even – all of those in the same cup. Yet as he offers it with Love and smiles His smile of Love – I trust Him that whatever the flavour, the consistency, the temperature, the full of half full – it will be perfect just for me and no one else.

      … and then spell checking when He has done!



  4. I love England. What happened to my cuppa Earl Grey? Just kidding.

    Warmth even in the summer months by way of those who serve Jesus. I thirst for His love…I thirst for all that is His to give. I thirst for the sweet goodness that is poured from the hearts of the Hot chocolate makers. No one makes it better than the one whose motive is pure. There is no recipe for that, luv.


    • “No one makes it better than the one whose motive is pure. There is no recipe for that, luv.”

      Hiya Dale, I just let the Lord flow his words into Heather’s comment/reply – and then came here to find you had already said the same thing! Beautiful!

      And thinking about this “unique” cup we offer Him and He offers us – unique to us … He said “Brandon” in that quite way. And I had to check and say – sensitive area here Lord. And He just said Brandon again. Brandon’s cup to Him is as perfect as yours, as mine, as anyone’s. What we each “mix up and offer Him” no better or worse than each other, no prizes for the “best tasting cup”, no competition at all. Each cup we offer (no matter what, how or when) – offered with love (ditto) – of us to Him (ditto) – is perfect for Him. Brandon, you, me, and anyone and everyone. Brandon’s cup was and is perfect – offered with love – accepted with love.

      (and having let His words flow again here – I trust Him enough to know they will “taste” as He wishes especially for you)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Paul, I don’t know why but I’m sitting here with tears filling up my eyes. From just a cuppa hot chocolate. And your comment on Melissa’s blog about capillaries. Connected through blood and hot chocolate. A tree of life from heart and veins and capillaries and hot chocolate. I’m a mess. Filled up but a complete, sniveling mess.

    Thank you. ā¤


    • Susan, it must be a day for wet eyes! Another “fluid” of connection. I had a similar experience with another post and another conversation. So much that I had to walk away and come back later to add a reply – and then found I had to repeat that – again – last night as the conversation continued.

      I think He loves mess. It’s the best way “to allow” that connection deep down inside.

      C u tonite for another connection!! šŸ™‚


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