We sat down and it all began. The flow of life, the pulsing heart beats of woman, of writer, of friend, of fellow Christ-follower. And the synchronization of all the labels and titles and banners we wear meld into perfect harmony. And we are just two souls. Hungry.
We begin a marathon of interchange. And food may be the anchor but there is a long thread which forms a tether between her vessel and mine.
We have stories that are untold. Don’t we all. Life can find you storing up more than you know when you walk out your days at a decidedly quiet pace. Hours of parenting and wiving and mothering and living can fill a soul with much to peel back. Processing is an act of revealing. Sharing a meal can set the stage for sharing a life.
And food is our anchor.
When she brought it sur table it was if a painter unveiled the master’s most recent canvas, her soul work. Or that of the chef. Art as food. Food as art. Our beautiful anchor was photo-worthy. Fried green tomatoes and shrimp from a stone’s throw away, the bounty of the sea, from the very village where she and I meet for more than nourishment for the body. On a bed of greens, the pinks and greens laid out in perfect symmetry surrounded by slices of sun-burst orange slices dancing along the rim of the plate. And diamonds of pineapple slices popping up here and there for sweet delight.
The senses are delighted and the heart follows suit.
And this could be the story of a writer’s lunch. And it was. Or this could be a story of a girl’s lunch half-way between our island home and Charleston, the holy city, the port city, the city of stories and a gourmand’s haven. The heavenly delights of that place. (I met the Patient One there back in the 80’s. You should know this important piece of my story if you read here. Writer’s sigh inserted here.)
But this is a story with chapters of mother’s at lunch breathing words of their children between and over bites of fried green tomatoes. And one with pages of writers chewing on writing and words and the passions that stir line after line on blogs and beyond. Of poetry, story, redemption and grace.
Of poetic prose. And of dreams cast with nets that reach beyond blogging.
But I know well that the only real story which I can rightly tell is the one which is mine. The one which I live. So I will not speak for her. She does that well daily in her exquisite voice of redemption and story, blended and baked up with perfectly timed phrases, going heavy on heart.
So I bookmark the chapters that tell of healing. And I highlight the parts which taste like restoration to the delight of my tongue. I savor that we who have come from a storm, a schism and a breaking can come in peace. That we, who found ourselves on opposite sides of a whirlwind in our church community, can break bread over the table of wholeness. No strife. No division.
Simply lovers of Christ, lovers of words and lovers of life, lovers of peace.
Building a friendship and walking around the frayed edges of the broken places. Seeing the common ground and overlooking the differences, whatever they are.
Tasting and seeing that He is good indeed. In all seasons. That the God of our lives is a lover of relationship. That wholeness and healing are good and fill the soul with nourishment of grace and mercy.
That the fruits of the Spirit may be the most delectable of all there is to bring to the mouth of the soul for growth in Him.
So she and I hug and part ways and promise to do this more often. We lose track of time and lose track of more than that. All that division. And we focus on the hungry parts of all woman, the need for friendship, relationship. A longing for a listening ear and a shared understanding of the joy and the struggles of this messy living.
And we plan to come around the anchor again. The one that keeps us decidedly in community. See clearly that need to break bread, to feast on fellowship. To heal relationships.
The anchor of love.