I have a stunning, dark as ebony, beloved, singin’ west side of Chicago friend, who once told me I was her real, first “white” friend. It startled me! I asked her how that could possibly be, when I knew, as a pastor’s wife, she now had many women of many colors in her circle.
“Ebony” told me it was because I came one day to ask HER for help and wisdom on a situation I was going through. Something no other woman of “other” color had ever done. Ebony then confided that in being poor and black all her life, “other” people always showed up to offer help, handouts, assistance and suggestions, but no one had ever come to ask personally for help and wisdom. I love to sing with her, best of all. I heal when I learn to ask for and accept help and wisdom from others, with singin’!
I have an amazing, talented and lovely young friend who is tattooed and pierced almost from head to toe. “Lovely” came to me one day to complain how her mother is always upset with how she expresses her creativity, often in her body art. I told “Lovely” how beautiful I thought she is, inside and out, and how some of her tattoos are exceptionally stunning to me and that when I turn 65, I am going to get one as well, to CELEBRATE LIFE. I then shared with her something only a mother knows. I told her every time her Mama looks at her perfectly beautiful face, and sees that delicate nose, ear, eyebrow and rose bud lips pieced through…all she can see is a once perfect little newborn face, poked, pained and hurt, and it pierces her heart. Moms are like that. We feel the pain suffered. I told Lovely that one day, she would have children, and she would understand. I asked her to be gentle and merciful with her dear mother’s heart.
I heal, when I celebrate beauty, listen well and speak the truth in love to others and on behalf of others.
I have a dear, kind, and extremely patient “Boss” at work, who trained me with great care, compassion and humor. He reminds me of many young men I have known through out my life. “Boss” is gay, multilingual, LOVES to cook, and is in a caring partnership with a wonderful person. Boss and I always greet each other with a hug and laughter, discuss crazy ideas for food and fun, pray for one another and our families, and encourage each other all the time.
I heal when I joyously and gratefully welcome others into my life as gifts from our creator God, who made us, and adores us all.
Nashville had an exceptionally cold winter this year. I wondered if the plants and trees growing everywhere would survive it well. Every day my Huz Stu and I go fast-walking for half an hour, up and down the hills surrounding our neighborhood, celebrating the growing things and greeting neighbors, old and new. As we began to walk this early spring, I found myself praying with concern for the trees that flower and bear fruit, that they would thrive and do well. Out side our balcony grows a well beloved and shared fig tree. Every person, bird and beast in the area knows about it, and many come to pick the fruit once it ripens. As all the splendorous May flowers opened, and the surrounding trees fully leafed out, our fig tree remained leafless.Yesterday, as we zipped by, I stopped and laid my hands on “Figgy”, hugged her tight, and prayed that she would be fully fruitful and flourish as never before.
Today, Figgy has her first little leaves just beginning to arrive. When she is full and fruitful, my Huz and I will call Boss & Partner, and we’ll pick some figs, getting all sweaty and hot, laughing and popping Figgy’s goodness into our mouths with joy!
I heal when I take time to welcome humankind, touch, love well, pray with all hope and share the abundance of life with others joyfully, with a grateful heart for all living things.
Laurel is a singer, songwriter, mentor, teacher, wife, mother, and birth/labor coach, church planter, actress, dancer, writer, producer, crew member at Trader Joe’s Nashville, and founder of “Finding Hope,” a Skype-based counseling/life coach/mentoring program. As a follower of the teachings of Christ, Laurel has made it her life goal to welcome, encourage and walk alongside others on the journey of discovering lasting hope, speaking truth in love, celebrating the wonders of life, love and JOY of living, in working together on this amazing planet of ours with grateful and peaceful hearts.