Written on February 24, 2016.
I love making dinner for my family. More accurately, I love creating meals, that bring life to their bodies and touch their hearts as they taste the love, prayers and dreams for them poured in as ingredients are chopped, diced and sliced.
Or crumbed, as was the case a few days ago. I was making bread crumbs for Chicken Parmesan. I grabbed my phone to check my seasoning list, but Instagram came up in place of my recipe. The first post was a picture of a mom making dinner for her family, just as I was.
Now, I don’t follow many “celebrities” on social media and this mom would not call herself one, though she and her husband are well known. I came across them some months ago when doing a bit of studying on midwifery. I don’t remember what my “search” was, but they came up. Joey + Rory. My purpose is not to tell you their story as they are doing the most beautiful job of sharing it themselves. But, I do need to tell you a few things to get to the point in the story I am telling and why.
This incredible couple came up related to midwifing, as they had a home birth and made a music video from some of the footage. They are a country music duo as well as Christian music artists. Not long after the birth of their sweet little girl, they found out that Joey had cervical cancer. She is currently in hospice care and they just don’t know how may days are left. SO they are making the most of each and every one. Their story has touched me, inspired me, moved me and led me to shed many, many tears.
So, as I was making dinner for my own family, I saw the picture of her doing the same. She can’t get out of bed now, so they brought all she needed to her. I was struck by many things in the picture. But what really undid me was that though we have never met and are walking through very different things, we share something deep and wide.
Privilege. As I was crumbling pieces of bread, my heart was singing with what a privilege it was to get to make them. I can only imagine her heart was singing the same song.
And I realized through tears, that what I had been celebrating was not just that dinner. I was more than anything, keeping watch over the life I am living and those living it with me. The Greek word for “privilege” is ‘exousia.’ It means, “freedom, authority, liberty, power and strength. It means, “power of choice.”
That rips me. Wide open. Privilege is the freedom to choose and the power that comes from it.
On this day, this beautiful woman on my screen and I share water in that ocean. The tides and currents are made up of the real and ruin of a truth. Even if what we are walking through is hard, different or not what we thought God promised, choice is still there. We have the choice to live it at all. And then we have the choice to live it well. To live it powerfully by living it out loud, vulnerable and victorious.
And I am humbled and hoped by the reality I have seen in the little I know of this one whose story has rippled into mine. She lived that way long before illness became an every day word that turned a world upside down.
With my dinner that night, I had a special course on my table. Gratitude at being so very privileged. To have that very same choice laid before me each and every day. And I wept once more, as I thought of a gathering we will host this week in a little tent on a big land. Wide open once more. For the people coming (and those who call this their dwelling place) are privileged too, having made the choice to live where we all can see. To sing a song all can hear. They ruffle and wrinkle my little ocean every day in ways I can’t describe.
They stay and come via choice that powers and plows. Because of the seemingly simply, yet staggeringly splendid choices of their every days, they have become the authority of Heaven. And I quiver just a bit, thinking what Pappa can do in the big middle of that.
Let Pappa reveal to you something you do consistently, regularly that you may not realize is a privilege. One that when walked in, ripples the world in ways we may not know here.
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