This past week the girls worked together to make cookies. While the mixer turned, they added ingredients. Cups of flour and sugar, sticks of butter churned together. An egg was cracked and then dropped. Shell and all stirred into the dough. Meg quickly turned off the mixer and searched for shells… the big pieces were easy, but tiny egg shell was peppered throughout. Now what do we do? Tossing out a batch of cookie dough wasn’t an option – I lead the “Save the Dough” campaign.
Ivy is in middle school. On her first day she walked into the wide open space of the lunch room. Everyone was trying to find their place. Ivy saw someone she knew and sat down. It became her table, filled with girls chatting. But over the coming days one girl singled Ivy out with occasional snide remarks and soon regular jeers.
My holy response was to encourage Ivy to answer the insults with meanness. But Megan brought some calm, and after mature responses failed, she told Ivy to find another table. So Ivy was back to the feelings of the first day. In the expanse it seems everyone has a place but you. So with her sack lunch she sat at an empty table. I worried she would sit there alone, but over the coming days others joined. She now has a full table.
As we ate the tasty – occasionally crunchy – cookies, I googled egg shells. According to the NYTimes, the shells will not hurt and are actually “a useful source of dietary calcium”. Some people even grind their egg shells into powder and add to other foods. They literally pepper their food with egg shells!
Life is peppered with hard moments. I want to save my kids from them — to remove all those moments. But these moments are like calcium for our soul. They bring strength. In the brokenness we become braver. Kinder.
Because in these moments we learn the value of opening space for others. We learn to accept them in their brokenness. To love them. And in this we become like Christ.