Letter to a Friend

Friend,  Lately I've been thinking about your first visit, that time you and your wife drove up from Texas to spend the weekend.  We were all standing in the kitchen and you were easing us into your story.  I remember something about a train, and foreign living--English teacher was it?  I remember you telling me that you had this notion of grandeur, the confirming presence that real existence lies somewhere above the perfunctory protestant life.

I was standing at the sink scraping crimson pearls from the center of a pomegranate.  They fell into a glass bowl filled with water so that the pith would rise to the surface.  No one likes a mouthful of pith in their pomegranate.  At least that's what Amber said. I couldn't actually recall eating pomegranate pith and neither did you.   You told us of that day when you stood on the beach throwing rocks into the ocean.  Something about the promise in an infinite circle of ripples.  Something about dying, falling in tandem with the baptism of the rocks.  Something about meeting Jesus in a metaphor that was meant for you.  Amber stood in the corner and cried "amens."  Matt and I stood still, quiet.  I looked down into the bowl to make sure the pith was rising to the surface.

The kitchen was a sanctuary that morning, quiet and brimming with good food.  I skimmed the surface of the glass bowl, pulling off the inedible innards and washing them down the sink.  The water spiraled counterclockwise, east to west on a compass dial.   Sometimes a kitchen is just a kitchen.  Sometimes it is a sanctuary for the Church.   Thank you for your story.