This could be an unpopular post. Forewarning. Also, it’s not really a foodie post. Ah well. Good to break format once in a while.
Two things happened yesterday. A MUCH prayed for baby was born to a friend of mine—healthy and well, despite some early indications that it would not be so.
And the artist Prince died.
The contrast of these two things struck me this morning. I watched brief clips of people flooding the streets singing Prince’s music, weeping, while the city of Minneapolis draped itself in purple. And I thought how interesting it is, that we take so personally, so intimately, the loss of someone we never truly knew, because of how his work impacted our lives. And it made me think about how we value those around us.
Is value imparted because of how a person made us feel? Or because of the work they contributed to the world? Or because of who they knew? Is the life of Prince more valuable than the life of the baby that was born yesterday?
. . . My perspective is different because my heart was not tied to Prince’s music the way so many of my peer’s hearts are. He was amazing! And I am certain, now, that I missed out. I wish my teen years had been a little more touched by his work. But my perspective lends me a emotional distance. And here’s what I believe: Every life should be draped in purple.
Not because of what we bring with our accomplishments (or the lack of them). Not because of who we know (or don’t). Not because of the various social media votes we receive in all their numerous forms. But because of the intrinsic value placed on us from before the dawn of time by the hand of God. (This is the probably-unpopular part of the post I warned you about). I believe this with my whole heart. Every life, no matter how small, accomplished, flawed, broken, criminal, or deserving of death . . . no matter how celebrated, revered, awarded, or enthroned, has value. Only because God made it and God can redeem it. Even the very worst. Because, if I can’t believe this, then there is no hope. We are all capable of the very best—and the very worst.
So here’s what I’m doing today. I’m draping you all in purple. Every face I see today. Every voice I hear. Every man, woman, child, and unborn baby. I’m throwing that royal color around you in my heart and mind. Your life has intrinsic value. You are beautiful and loved and important. You are worth singing in the streets for. You are worth illuminated bridges and buildings.
You matter because God said so.
And I’m pretty sure He’s got a corner on the market when it comes to that kind of thing.
Right. I’m done. Off my soapbox.
Back to typical posts about my kitchen, things my kids say, and soup.
I made a new friend this week.
That sounds so funny. Like third grade all over again. She’s going to laugh when she reads this. *digs out friendship bracelet string*
But it’s a beautiful thing to type those words on the page and even more, to mean them.
I’m an introvert. I can pretend to be something else for a little while (I am truly envious of all of you social-birds out there) but pretending to extrovert for any length of time saps me of energy in a big way and takes me a day or two to recover. For that reason, blogging is easy, and making friends is hard. I’m not particularly good at being vulnerable. Although I’m working on that.
I am discovering that vulnerability is courageous, and it is the desire of my heart to live in the sort of bravery that welcomes people close and invites them in, rather than walling them off in the name of self-protection.
So in that vein, I made a new friend this week. And she’s delightful.I have a handful of them. Like-minded and like-hearted people who come to one another’s rescue with pizza and wine, warm words, and helpful hands. Never judgmental but always honest. They love courageously, selves aside. These women parent and wife, and friend, (yes those are verbs) with vulnerability, fearing mistakes but leaning in to the hard things and loving anyway. These are my people. Some of them I see on a weekly basis. Some I only get to see once a year—soaking in sunshine and coffee on my kitchen floor. Regardless, it’s our heart-condition that keeps us close, not proximity.
Do you have People? Friends who stand in the gap when your heart is heavy, who are quick to offer dinner or watch your kids for an hour? Friends who ignore your dirty bathroom and sink-full of dishes? Introvert or extrovert, we need them. These like-hearted people. They hold us up when life is hard and we desperately need people to share the road on the long walk Home.
Friendship is weird. It takes two people saying “Yah, sure! Let’s try this,” with the kind of bravery that uses vulunarbility as a welcome sign. It’s not easy. But it’s imperative.
In this brand new week, take a moment to gather your people. It’s as simple as a text message. Tell them they are loved. And if you feel your people are far too few in number, or perhaps nonexistent, be brave. Go off script and let someone see your messes. Be vulnerable. Adulting isn’t really that much different than third grade. We just get to have wine instead of juice boxes. 😉
This isn’t a parenting or personal blog, it’s a blog about food, mostly. And some writing. And doing right by both. But I’m also more than what I cook. My kitchen is messy and my heart is messy, so I’m going to take one post a week—a weekend post—and blog about what it means, for me, to live bravely in all of the messes. As a mom, a wife, a friend, and a home cook. And maybe you’ll find a word or two that encourages you. We’re in this together, after all. This thing called life. Around and around and around the sun we go.