Holding the Pot

“Do not hold over people.”

We laughed aloud as we read the words, the Lovely Lady and I.  She had purchased a new coffee maker for me, the old one having given up on keeping the black liquid hot longer than five minutes after it was brewed.  I unpacked the replacement and thought that perhaps, I should read the warning on the carafe.

“Do not bump”  Okay.  That makes sense.

“Do not clean with materials that scratch.”  I’m on board with that one, too.

“Do not use on any rangetop…”  I’m not so sure here, since the hotplate on the coffee maker is a close approximation of one on a stove, but I don’t want to be argumentative, so we move on.

“Do not hold over people.”  Seriously.

What idiot holds a coffee pot over people?

We discussed it at the dinner table yesterday.  After we stopped laughing again, a number of explanations were offered.  Eventually, we narrowed it down to our litigious society and over-eager personal injury lawyers, and the conversation moved on to important things such as soccer and no-thank-you helpings of squash.

I can’t get the phrase out of my mind.

Do not hold over people.

The coffee maker’s carafe fades into the scenery as other images take its place.  They flash by so quickly, it is hard to retain them.  Parents reminding their children of past transgressions again and again–Husbands and wives bringing up the past and events which should have been long forgotten–Politicians using words spoken decades before to diminish and smear their opponents–The list goes on and on.

Do not hold over people.

I cringe as I think about the times I have held the scalding liquid over the heads of fellow travelers.  When I did pour out the contents of the pot it was, of course, for their own good.  Or, so I told myself.

I’m not so sure anymore.

I may have enjoyed it.  Power makes one cruel.  And unforgiving.

Perhaps, it’s time to put the carafe down.  Maybe, it’s time to use it for the intended purpose.  The contents, when dispensed in the correct manner, are refreshing and even invigorating.

And, they don’t leave the recipient scarred for life.

Do not hold over people.

My arms are tired anyway.

Coffee, anyone?

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.”
(Colossians 3:13a ~ NLT)

“I believe in trusting men, not only once, but twice–in giving a failure another chance.”
(James Cash Penney ~ American entrepeneur ~ 1875-1971)

© Paul Phillips.  He’s Taken Leave.  2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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