She calls in the middle of my one minute of quiet, the minute right after everyone else has eaten lunch and the thirty minutes before nap time…
The very minute I have a spoon in the peanut butter jar and a straw in a glass of Diet Coke. I cradle the phone in the crook of my neck as I lick the spoon clean.
“Sure. It’s a good time. You can drop by for a bit,” I tell her. A child hollers in the next room. “She’s OK, really. She screams all day, even when she’s happy. Come on by. I’m not going anywhere.”
I pull out dolls and books and occupy the children. The baby sleeps and the boys busy themselves with cleaning out the mudroom and I sip Diet Coke, trying to avoid the carbs that call to me from the kitchen.
In minutes, she comes through the front door and the small ones clamor for her attention and I sit, cross-legged, in my corner of the room.
“What’s up?” I ask her. I envy her… Her freedom to come and go as she pleases, to live outside of her home. I plead with her to talk with me…
To stay a while.
“Nothing,” she says. She smiles. “I learned to sew an apron today.” She unfolds the swatch of fabric, the one hidden in her bag, and I notice her perfect stitches, the perfect seams.
My own fingers run the length of the fabric and I wish I could sew like her. I wish I had time to sew.
I listen to her carry on about sewing lessons and I can’t help but smile at her. She’s excited and I’m excited for her and I’m thankful when she sets her bag on my table and curls up in one of my chairs.
I sigh a happy sigh because I’m no longer alone.
The children move about our space and we each hold little girls who yawn into our chests. The older girls ballroom dance in the dining room and the baby stirs in the swing. The boys smile sheepishly at this woman who fills my void, and I shew them out, back to their jobs.
We laugh at their boyishness and she feeds the baby while I clear the table, wiping crumbs in my hand as I go along. We chat it up and I laugh with her and her with me and I feel the presence of God resting between us.
An hour passes before she gathers her things to go, and I feel a certain feeling bubbling up in the pit of my being:
I feel loved.
This morning, I stand at the bathroom sink. I run the brush through my hair and I read, holding the book open with a tube of toothpaste
This is my morning routine.
But this morning, I can’t read because I’m consumed with this idea that some folks love Jesus and they love Him crazy big. I mean, they show up to the Jesus stuff at their churches and they serve their community and they wave the Jesus banner all the live long day. They love Jesus. Everyone knows it.
But then, there are other people who not only love Jesus crazy big, but they love others too. Just as crazy big. These are the people who show up to the Jesus stuff at their churches and serve their community and wave the Jesus banner all the live long day.
Somewhere along the way, they’ve figured out that if they love Jesus, then they must love others, too. Almost as much as they love Jesus. So they enter into the smallness of people’s lives and they sit across the table from folks and sip coffee and ask the normal, stuff of life questions. They listen with their eyes and their hearts and they care about the things their people care about. They show up to the birthday parties and the baby showers and the funerals.
And they show up in the middle of day and rock a baby and let you talk your heart out.
Because that’s what they do.
I roll on mascara and line my eyes and I wonder which kind of person I am.
When others sit with me, do they leave knowing I love Jesus? Or do they leave knowing I love them, too?