I burn the sausage and the biscuits in the middle of the pan are still mushy.
My eggs stick to the skillet.
I stand in the kitchen and watch the trees through the window and I work to redeem our breakfast for dinner.
He’s in the dining room with our neighbors and they’re walking through Romans. I catch bits and pieces of their conversation and I hear the kids call to one another as they move throughout the house.
The boys run on all fours, one on top of another and in their world, they’re horses.
The babies swish hoop skirts and I hush them with soft whispers and they just giggle louder.
The big girls track in and out across the kitchen floor, slamming the back door with each trip and I jump with each slam of the door.
It’s chaos and redemption.
It’s every snapshot of the past year framed on the walls of this house and one snapshot of this moment in my kitchen and I know it.
Everything ugly is being made beautiful.
I grab the camera and stand on a chair and I click away as she laughs at the end of the table. “I always wanted to be a model,” she says.
I laugh with her and yes, she is beautiful.
The Bibles close and I hear the preacher laugh out loud. It’s 7 and the burnt sausage is now cold.
I wrap tinfoil around a plate of crusty eggs and burnt sausage and I hand them my offering. She laughs again and says milk is the secret ingredient to fluffy scrambled eggs. I make a mental note, smiling at her. She could get a job at The Waffle House. Maybe they’re hiring, I think to myself.
Our neighbors leave and we’re alone in the middle of the kitchen, the preacher and I. He untucks his shirt and I apologize for burning the sausage and for making crusty eggs and for the mushy-in-the-middle biscuits.
He likes burnt sausage, he says.
I fold myself into him and we share a moment between the stove and the sink.
We’re turning a corner, him and I and the kids.
And our church is turning a corner, too.
We don’t say it aloud.
But we know it, as we stand close together in the kitchen.