Soul food has many ingredients – God, self-esteem, and, equally important, relationships. When one talks about relationships we tend to use examples and metaphors to describe something complex, experiential, and, in the end, indescribable. In many ways soul food is all and only about relationships. The link one has with their own self, the tenuous bond between others in life, and our thirst to know and experience God. Similar to cooking, there are legions of chefs giving advice, and dictating how one should nurture their soul.
In my exploration, I find relationship models helpful. I understand what I understand, absorb more than I realize, and gain a willingness to go beyond my normal risk boundaries. I have yet to find a perfect example of a relationship. Every one has at least one small flaw, but it is in the failures that one identifies weaknesses and similarities. In the end, regardless of the rationale, I am willing to look and explore, which is something I find necessary for improving who and what I am.
Four observations that follow Paul’s advise to “be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” (Romans 12.10)
My father has grown in reveling in a relationship of shared journeys; honest in the highs and lows, giving and learning in the same interaction.
My wife nurtures and supports striving to be the best; nothing other than perfect will do, but how you get there is more important than the destination.
Carli and Whitney convey a combination of trust, respect, and unconditional love. I am continually stunned by their gift of relationship, wondering what I have ever done that could possibly merit something this priceless.
You are among the small circle of friends who share my journey. It is hard to express just how much the relationship you give provides support, framework, and value to my steps.
These are good friends painting a compellingly attractive picture of God. Features include caring from the depths, patience that defies understanding, and a willingness to risk everything for the sake of sharing what we value most. Priceless.