Iron Sharpens Iron

October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.

Morning comes too early, lately. Seems I would get up easier, since I’m actually getting up later. Maybe the time difference is helping to mask my depression.

But, the kid makes me move. As we were going through our morning routine, we opened the door to the tiny house. A gust of warmth penetrated the chill: the sound of our own Kris M–.

“Was that Kris M–??” J moved towards the door. I didn’t bother to contest. I grabbed the coffee pot, my cup and went with hopeful expectation. Kris was awake when we were.

For some reason, my boy likes to tell people about Kris’s insomnia. He thinks it is fascinating that we have two different schedules. He loves exploring the boundaries, on both ends. Last night, they encountered each other after hours. We caught Kris in the half-light of the refrigerator as J was getting a snack. Both wore a half awake look of wonder and innocence, exploring each other in this outer world.

The morning was starting off right. i determined not to worry about productivity, to focus on connection and just let go of fear. No worrying today about looming futures. Let’s make the most of it. Everything in Kris’s posture showed her willingness, even if her eyes were tired. The show was on.

In almost nervous action, I took up the broom. My anxiety levels sometimes make it hard for me to sit still. Since Kris has been nearly bedridden for two months, she wasn’t opposed to the help. We talked, talked to critters, and talked to my wee one as we moved our way towards one another.

At some point, Kris emerged with an electric skillet. I had a bag of garden-grown red peppers I had gotten from church. Before long, the house was filled with the smell of frying onions. Kris did her faithful best to manage the babe’s 3-year-old desire to poke a dog or ‘play’ a cat while i chopped vegetables at the glistening counter. This was the first time I’d cooked for Kris.

The pan was a winner. The omelet was thin, perfectly cooked, and filled with a pile of cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, red peppers, and mushrooms. Warm whole-grain bread was spread with butter and jam; and sliced garden-grown tomatoes dressed the meal. My babe ate perfectly cooked over-easies.

Shared food is the foundation for many rich social interactions. It is interesting to reflect on our natures in this cooperative, sharing behavior so common among all people. Even among hostile people, it is an offering of momentary peace. Among those who love each other, pure bliss.

We got a lot done today. When we work together, nothing is impossible. Like it says in Proverbs, “Iron sharpens iron”

After the babe went to sleep, I crept into the big house. I was hoping that Kris might be up; but I didn’t count on it. The house was quiet, and I heard the sound of her soft breathing. I didn’t need to look around the corner. I knew she was under a warm blanket of cats.

Today, I got a chance to observe something I hadn’t seen before. I saw Kris settle down. After stirring the onions, I peeked around the corner from the kitchen. She was sitting down. I peeked around the corner again, to finish a sentence, and she was covered in cats.

“Covered” is strong language; but there were about three. Mama was back, and cats needed cuddles. Kris held communion from the recline of her chair as friends reestablished connection by coming aboard. I got excited. We were really merging worlds. I delighted in the process as I put peppers in the pan.

“I can’t believe you’re here,” Kris said. The words are simple but the idea is huge. I can’t believe it, either.

The last time I saw Kris, I was 17 years old. We were both outcasts in a tough town in a valley, casting our gazes far beyond the hills. When she came to the door last night, she scratched, like a cat wanting to be let in, her hair still wet from the shower. The scent of her soap caught on the breeze. She held her classic stance as she cautiously, yet earnestly, acknowledged my pain. I saw the eyes, I felt her soul, and I collapsed in her arms in my grief.

She listens with ferocity, as she has always done. As always, we are sisters. Passionate and vulnerable, we probably look dramatic to other people. It’s not drama, I promise you. My sister supported me as I wept, and never drew away. I lay my full burden down, and she offered all she had to help me carry it.

Today, head in a cabinet, I told her how weakened I am. Abuse has weakened me, along with my grief. I am skittish and nervous. I am tired and worn. Her answers to me were rich with feeling. My sister. Her words slid over my back as I stirred, so solid, so real.

We relaxed into the comfort we each offered. The room buzzed with the energy of the kids, little sweet one and his new animal companions. The air was round with the scent of food, and plates sat warm in our hands. As iron sharpened iron, the air sang out in warmth.

To friendship, and to friends.