We made dinner for the men yesterday. The six of us–four of them, two of us–gathered in their glass-enclosed living room to raise a glass of wine to something really special: our team.
She and I stood at the kitchen counter. There was a roast in the crock pot, something she’d seasoned with rosemary and thyme. I was up to my wrists in blackberry galette filling. The Quiet Giant put on Gungor; the President clicked his heels and swayed. And I laughed, my heart so full of love for these men I couldn’t stand still.
The President cut a block of pepper jack cheese and poured a box of crackers out on a wooden cutting board. There was a simple elegance to it that caught me off guard. Sitting on a counter bench, I took it in, feeling tears sting my eyes. Nights like this are too few and far between. They prick at the edges of my heart like little actupuncturists, reminding me to keep my eyes open for these beautiful, random moments where hearts are sweet and free and breathing.
I hadn’t expected to feel this way. I hadn’t remembered what it was like to sit in the company of good men who love God and each other and me with such focused intentionality.
It wasn’t romantic–that kind of love is new and fresh and full in my life. This was the brotherly love I had often wondered at, that I saw happening around me all my life, but rarely experienced myself. Here, I found I am valued, invested in and encouraged. We teased each other, throwing jokes across the table before dipping into the serious question of rest. And here again, I found my heart stretched at their answers, at the way they seek after the heart of the Father, unwilling to settle for less than the fullness of Him in their lives.
From them I have learned that there is more to masculinity than physical strength–although they are strong. I have watched them lead with confidence and grace from every side of our organization. I have seen them take difficult feedback and change their lives. I have seen them choose to become the kind of men that every woman dreams of having in her life. I have learned from them and laughed with them and shared life with them. And I am proud to say that I am someone they care about. I am someone who cares for them.