unexpected

by Kristen

I bite on expectation’s illusion, but often the flavor of my days doesn’t pan out as I assumed it would.

Like Monday . . .

Grandpa’s surgery was delayed several hours and then took much longer than the doctors anticipated.

As I waited for updates, an email landed in my inbox saying a friend’s grammy slipped away while her daughters held her hands—and no amount of expectation makes it easier to witness the fabric of a family forever altered.

My heart ached under the heaviness of the unexpected. I prayed over and over, “God . . . please . . . I trust you . . . help my unbelief . . . hold us when we can’t hold on . . . please . . . God.”

Later in the day, when my friend called to talk through the details of how to best mourn with her family—wear black to the funeral, but don’t send flowers—where was I? In the grocery store. I listened to one heart grapple with the unwieldy weight of grief as I collected ingredients to serve to other weary hearts.

Because in the swirl of unexpected, sometimes food is the best love I can offer.

So I plucked mint leaves, squeezed a lemon and grated parmesan for mint-pea pesto. I sliced mozzarella, pitted plums, toasted pine nuts and reduced vinegar for a salad. And all the while I begged for God’s mercy to envelop and nourish those I love.

In days filled with the souring of expectations, I can call my people to the table and feed them . . . and sometimes, that is sweet enough.

 

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