As I marveled at this, a new bird flew up and sat on the wire – only this one was facing the opposite direction. “That’s me”, I thought – the one who is always turned around, never quite facing the right way. But, in less than a second, that bird hopped up, turned around, and landed on the wire facing the same direction as the rest of the birds. Soon, another bird arrived, and then another, and the same thing happened each time: the bird landed facing the wrong direction, hopped up, and turned around.
My gumbo represents my desire to adhere to the rules and my tendency to question them. Honoring tradition, it harnesses my own primal instincts as co-creator with God. It celebrates the goodness of our very essence along with our brokenness. It offers endless opportunities to grow and change, to be reborn again and again through its muddy waters. Batch by batch, the thin places of my life grow more and more transparent, loved ones in my dream world inch closer, and the desires of my heart wait eagerly in the caverns of my own callused hands.
No two batches are the same, but the flavors of love overflow.
I stand by my original declaration: People are kind. However, today, Good Friday, is the opportunity for legitimate rebuttal. There is a legitimate rebuttal to the proposal that people are kind, and that rebuttal is the phenomenon we call Good Friday, remembering the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.