Good morning and welcome to the Cafe. I'm sipping a cup of dark hot chocolate made with soy milk. Comfort beverage. I'm dealing with some serious stuff and the familiar taste of my own concoction sort of soothes the soul. Know what I mean?
Loved reading your comments since last week - and BTW, I think we're on the track we originally intended, don't you? As I was compiling questions from them for Rebecca St. James, who will be our first guest poster, I was really struck by the commonality of the comments. Everyone seems to be struggling with the concept of identity. "Who am I? What's my place in this world? I used to think it was this or that ... but so much has changed and this and that don't feel like me any more."
As I was thinking about the right questions to suggest so you can work with that, I went back to The Merciful Scar where protagonist Kirsten Petersen is wrestling with the same thing. Check out what Sister Frankie says to her in this passage:
By then we'd reached the south pastrue and Frankie leaned her elbow on the gate and looked at me and said, "What did you learn just now?"
(Nudnik) That you have ADD?
I had no idea what she wanted to hear so I just said, "That you love plants?"
(Nudnik) Why don't you just TELL her she was boring you out of your skull?
"Perfect." Frankie touched me lightly on the arm, right above where I had just released my shame. "Now you need to discover what YOU love."
As I look back over my own life and the many stages when I had to regoup and think, "Who am I NOW?", I realize Sister Frankie is asking exactly the right question:
What do you love?
Because really ... who you are is what you love. God is love, John writes in his first letter (4:8). Pretty basic. So it follows that what we really, truly love is of God. And of God is who and what we are.
What do YOU love?
I personally love making lists and this question has nudged me to write down my answers to that question. Amazing what it reveals, especially if you include everything ...
What you love to do.
What you love to think about.
What you love in other people.
What sparks the passion.
What you can get lost in for deep, pleasant hours.
What breaks your heart.
What do you say we give that a shot? See what it shows us about who we are? Mine is going on to two pages at this point, which is a statement in itself! I'm including everything from my husband's amazing rib eyes on the grill to the rush of getting an email that says, "Your book changed my life." From hanging out at the bookstore with my delightful granddaughter to sinking into the next John Green book.
Let us know if and how it goes, will you? Is it a useful exercise? What does it reveal? Would love to hear about that, or anything else you want to bring to the Cafe table.
A Starbucks is opening here in Lebanon, Tennessee. How awesome would it be to gather there some Wednesday night and drink lattes and frappincinos and talk about life and God? That would be at the top of my list of things to love ...