So… Belle is traveling this week in Uganda, taking with her the heart of our home and the smile I look forward to each day. Oh, and the meal plan.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a competent bachelor – I may not always have the energy she does to cook steak or pot roast solo, but I enjoy the challenge of walking up to the refrigerator and letting creativity duel with absentmindedness (the fact that I forgot to go grocery shopping… again).
Belle and I differ on this note – she prefers the challenge of perfectly executing her cooking plan (thus, the amazing recipes she’s constantly creating or tweaking). I prefer the challenge of not having a plan and seeing what comes out. You may want call this “a disaster”, but I still prefer “challenge” – it just sounds better.
Tonight was a perfect example: there were leftovers from a recent French Onion Chicken recipe test (coming soon!), a few eggs, bacon and a bag of sweet peppers. Not the worst selection, but somewhat limited, and I was in the mood to cook.
So I scrambled the eggs, fried some bacon and diced up a few peppers to sauté, making the most of the bacon’s goodness – simple, quick, delicious. The fresh rosemary from our window sill garden was a treat in the eggs, and I was pleasantly surprised (I didn’t plan this, remember?) that the peppers turned out as well as they did. And I actually didn’t burn anything (a common side-effect of planning, prepping and cooking at the same time).
But it was still just me and our puppy, and even the warmth of a blanket by the fire on this snowy day didn’t help the fact that Belle was not around, brightening the room with a cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other.
Imagine my delight, then, when her blog post for today was the story of meeting our sponsor child, Edmon, who I have loved since I saw his photo for the first time six years ago. She got to meet him!
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you are loved. Edmon knows this feeling, and I also share in the same joy: with a wife who knows my heart for children, and a boy who knows his sponsors care.
Belle’s story is so amazing that I literally just sat there, reading and re-reading it, trying to make sense of it all. Trying not to explode.
Turns out I’m not the only one who was emotionally affected – Edmon also had a lot to take in, like a book of photos we left with him: a small gift with a huge impact! I won’t spoil the story for you, but prepare to have your heart changed. It’s that good!
To be clear, I still miss Belle – but God has reminded of me a gift through her that I can’t even begin to describe: the joy of sharing selfless love. It’s pure, like God created us to be, and I’m in awe of how it pulls at my heart. There is nowhere I would rather have her than giving a hug (or a handshake!) to the young man God is raising up in Uganda.
I still have dishes to clean (my constant responsibility, even when Belle is around), but following the Compassion Bloggers this week has reminded me of the joy that comes with cleaning dishes. Dishes from a family, from food, from life. And a life filled with love, even if it’s on the other side of the world, is a blessing to be counted.
I’ll be thinking about Edmon a lot, wishing that I had met him. Praying that he is safe and growing in Christ. Someday I will meet him, and we will hang out, and it will be awesome – maybe it will be here, or maybe in heaven. Either way, I’m stoked!
And don’t worry, Belle will be back with more recipes soon!