Across from me, she’s a dancer with a true beauty, a laugh that compels you to join in, and a heart that makes everyone safe and welcome.
Next to her sits a genuine soul, soft-spoken and quick-witted. When she prays for the meal it’s an honest breath from her heart, and we bow heads alongside, hushed in agreement.
The corner farthest from mine, she gracefully balances the worlds of work and motherhood, dreams and decisions. She is an artist with words, generous with encouragement and wise advice.
Looking straight over the table into those eyes, she carries big questions, hard work having led to a crossroad - a seemingly-insurmountable hurdle looming close. Unflinchingly real, she sips tea, speaks true and trusts.
Between us, she has lived more life than the rest, but no one notices. Resiliently walking through some faith-testing times, she lights up with laughter, even as half of her heart sits halfway across the world.
It’s just a Monday night and we have taken time out from different lives to gather for a monthly meal at this obscure restaurant that offers authentic gyros and all-day breakfast. No one knew exactly who would show up, but it’s this six of us and that’s what He intended for this time. Hearts spill over about what it feels like when a longing to create takes a backseat to insecurity and lack of time and life stuff. About how all we want to do is dance and write and sew and sing, lose ourselves in books and on bicycles. The food comes and we compare notes on the tzatziki sauce and eggs benedict, and one of us doesn't realize she’s consumed eight eggs until she sighs incredulous over having eaten four and we get to inform her that they always double the number here. Laughter turns the heads of the few other lingering diners.
Some of these women I see weekly, some more or less. Some know parts of who I am and others have seen the deep, deep things. It doesn’t really matter. We’re family – His family – and when we are together He is there too, binding us close and building us up. In the light, we are so much more the same than we are different.
As I steer the car home later, I smile, filled to brimming.
* * * *
I'm blogging every day this month with all of these brilliant people. It's my ...