We sit long over sliced onions and potatoes while my sick babies rest in the cool of her farmhouse.
There are 40 years between us and yet our hearts both feel the ache.
The longing ache for what should have been had we never distrusted God and left the garden.
We both grew up without Truth poured from the Word into our hearts and, yet, that imprint of God placed on each person at birth bore quiet testimony. She knew when she watched her parent's divorce that it wasn't supposed to be this way. I knew as I held my sobbing sister while family fought loud in the hallway that relationships weren't supposed to be like that. No one teaches you these things: they are innate. Stamped on your soul with an indelible mark.
Life isn't supposed to be like this.
What went wrong?
There's quiet for a time as she stirs the sauce and I clean up scattered toys from the floor. We contemplate our own hearts, our own hurts, our own failures silently.
What went wrong?
The truth of the matter is that we simply failed to trust God. Failed to trust in His Goodness. Failed to trust that what He freely gives is the best thing.
And so when our spouse hurts our feelings, our hearts cry out "Is he really the best thing you could have given me, God?" Our reaction is sin whether yelling or bitterness or recoiling or simply walking away. Our reaction is to say "God, this isn't the best thing so I'm going to take control here."
Our reaction is ingratitude.
A sick baby wakes coughing and I sit with the nebulizer trying to clear her lungs wishing it were as easy to clear my heart of ingratitude, of sin, of doubting the One who orchestrates it all.
I look over at Carol, busy cooking up something nourishing. And while her meals bring strength to the body, her real reason for cooking is to nourish relationships. To bring souls to the meeting place of her table.
Isn't that what all souls ultimately long for: a meeting place? A place to lay themselves bare and be honest about who we are in our quiet mix of good and evil, of doubt and belief.
Two days later, as I dip brush in paint and stencil a kitchen back-splash, these moments rush back at me. I want to create the hallowed meeting place: daily with the five who live here and often with the souls wandering near me.
How do I release the full weight of who I am in a way that helps others surrender their full weight to be loved?