Serendipity at Work: An Interview with Drew Miller

Every year, for the past several circles around the sun, the community known as The Rabbit Room has convened in a rich and elaborate gathering known as Hutchmoot. This past Hutchmoot, I was excited to sit down for a few minutes to talk shop with Drew Miller, editor of the Rabbit Room blog and member of the delightful folk chamber group known as The Orchardist.

ADAM: How long have you been editing The Rabbit Room?

DREW: Let’s see, I think it’s been—well, I’ll think of it in terms of Hutchmoots. Last Hutchmoot was my first, and I think I had just started that summer, in July. At that point, I was only doing two posts a week, just to help Pete [Peterson]. As far as managing the blog myself, it’s been since the beginning of this year.

ADAM: Where did you and Pete come across each other?

DREW: A lot of similar circles overlapping. The church that Kelsey and I go to, I think, is where it all comes together. So, Hutchmoot used to be at Church of the Redeemer [in Nashville], and our church is actually a plant of Church of the Redeemer called St. Mary of Bethany Parish. Andrew Peterson and his immediate family started going to St. Mary’s as well, so they’ve been there all the time that we’ve been there. So we got to know them.

And I think it started when the Orchardist had just finished our record, and I was like, “Can you listen to this? Can this maybe be on The Rabbit Room?”

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On Why Coffee Doesn’t Taste Like Coffee Anymore

It’s funny how the arbitrary decisions a person makes can have life-altering effects.

One of my first jobs was working for a certain green mermaid (she’s actually a siren), making coffee. A friend off-handedly said that she really enjoyed working there. Needing funds for my newfound freedom after getting my first car, I decided to apply. I was hired on the spot and soon after began learning how to make coffee, a drink I didn’t even like at the time.

Part of my training was to learn how to spot the subtleties and nuances in coffees coming from various regions around the world. Much like wine, there are several factors which all have a drastic effect on the final product—from the particular varietal of coffee, to the terroir, to the way it goes from fruit on a tree to a little brown bean in a bag. In very general terms, African coffees are often citrusy and bright, while Latin American coffees are nuttier with red fruit or stone fruit qualities. Coffees from Indonesia are earthy and herbal. There’s so much to it all, and all, and it was a lot to take in, being a kid who never even drank the stuff. And yet, after scowling over the taste of my sixth french press that day, I began to see those hints of lemon my manager was telling me I would find in the Kenyan.

Fast forward a full decade. I’m now the lead barista at the longest-operating coffee shop in Knoxville, a place I’m proud to call home. I quit my desk job at a doctor’s office to work here, and I have never once looked back. The coffee I make is substantially better, but in a weird way I enjoy it less—and also way more.

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Separated

To separate yolk from white
My mother used half the shell
Like a little cup.

Sometimes she used a device
That safely nestled the yolk
While the white overflowed
Into bottomless crevasses
And ultimately into a waiting receptacle

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Faithful ‘Til the Finish Line

Editor’s Note: Today, we lost a faithful man. Eugene Peterson was a beloved clergyman, scholar, and author—two of his most notable contributions being The Message paraphrase and A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. This piece was originally published on Bailey Gillespie’s website, so we thought it would be appropriate to resurrect today in honor of him.

When was the last time you felt like giving up?

I think we’d all agree that, more often than not, doing the right thing is synonymous with doing the long thing. And that can be pretty maddening. Although faithfulness is a fruit of the spirit, it’s a less popular one because you can’t always tell when it’s in action. There aren’t any outward signs. And yet, God says on that final day, he will look at us and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23).

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Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

Editors note: This series was first published at Biblical Counseling Through Song. It is our hope that sharing this journey of heartache and worship with Tom Murphy will be an encouragement to our readers who find themselves in similar situations.

Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was an idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means “help me”. Thank God for the French.

On this first of May—Mayday— I am crying out, “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Help!

I need help.

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A Blue You Can Wear

I sat alone, for a few minutes at least, in the unlit and uncovered atrium of a church just south of Nashville. I was tired. Exhausted. Worn out in the way that only those introverts who have spent a long day in the welcoming company of dear friends can understand.

I was at a conference with several other Foundling House editors and writers. We had started the day together by leading a panel discussion on the importance and difficulties of being part of a creative community group. Eager faces looked up at us as we started. Pens were poised over notepads, waiting for us to give a simple, easy-to-follow formula that would generate the community we so desperately crave—a community that I also crave. I only wish it was so simple.

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WONDER

In your name everything makes sense. That is an awesome wonder. You created a way for life to work like a well-oiled machine. You intricately designed all the detailed parts to work predictably when operated with the proper fuel. For every misplaced thought, there is a reason. For every curious instance, there is an explanation. I could never understand your mastery, but when I think I’ve grasped a glimpse, my logical brain goes crazy for you.

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