Earlier this summer, I had a chance to take part in a special engagement for bloggers to lunch with Charlie Ayers, the former executive chef of Google, who started the swank, hot cafe Calafia in Palo Alto, California.
What impressed me about this luncheon wasn’t the fancy atmosphere of jazz infused music mixed with clinking glass against open kitchen sounds.
What I was really interested in was meeting the famed chef and tasting his interestingly themed menu — kiwi!
From Kiwi Gezpacho to Kiwi dessert, what an exciting tour my taste buds were treated to that day!
Curiosity peaked, I stole a moment to exchange a few words with the food maestro. As everyone else was busy chit chatting during the course of a meal, I noticed Ayers quietly standing to the side.
I walked over to thank him for an awesome meal and asked, “How did you know cooking was your passion, Charlie? Did you always know or was it something you stumbled on?”
In a softened voice of respect, Charlie credits his father for inspiring his love of cooking.
Charlie remembers his father encouraging him to pursue his passion since early childhood. His dad didn’t have a chance to realize his dreams, and he wanted to Charlie to have that opportunity.
As he shared, I was moved.
Even though we may not all have a father like Charlie’s to encourage us to shoot for the moon, God has given us the gift of words through community.
It’s been said that talk is cheap.
I disagree. We all need to hear words of affirmation. Words that speak truth, that help us see a glimpse of who we truly are.
Words change and shape us. Sometimes for the worse, but thankfully, other times, for the better.
Community is like that, I think.
Just as others have slayed me with their words, God has healed me through others.
I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it weren’t for the lifegiving words of some who were generous with their encouragement and friendship.
These friends made time to listen and stand with me in the process of becoming.
True community isn’t “pretty” because it’s human. It’s imperfections can hurt, but it opens opportunities to love. God has used community to open my heart, beyond the borders of myself.
I have learned that when I’m no longer afraid of my own journey in process, God opens my heart wider as an invitation for others to share theirs.
While the world judges by appearances, those of us in the community of faith can come alongside each other and see what no one else can see: beauty.
What a gift you are, a community of faith baristas, serving up shots of encouragement by sharing your words!
“For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” Philemon 1:7
You hit all the key elements of community here, Bonnie — love, encouragement, faith, sharing, imperfect. Great post.
Great post – love it!
Words do have power – amazing power.
Will be looking for opportunities to serve up shots of encouragement today.
“apples of gold in settings of silver …” Proverbs … how we all need them.
“I have learned that when I’m no longer afraid of my own journey in process, God opens my heart wider as an invitation for others to share theirs.”
That’s it exactly, isn’t it? We choose whether we view our past hurts as a means to hinder us, or to break free and help others who may be going through the same hurts. Great post as always, Bonnie.
Excellent post, Bonnie. The image of a community of affirming words is powerful. I think of all that could be accomplished if we changed our words, held out our hands to each other, and sat down to talk.
(P.S. You will need to come to Arlington, Va., and visit Cassatt’s: A Kiwi Cafe, owned by a New Zealander who has created a community through food. It’s fun, the “flat whites” are better than anything at Starbucks, and the Pavlova dessert (named for the ballet dancer) is wonderful.)
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I like your post, and the way you connected it to your morning activity. Inperfections are important, because growth rises from them.
Another terrific post, Bonnie.
I completely agree with your words:
“We all need to hear words of affirmation. Words that speak truth, that help us see a glimpse of who we truly are.”
I need to hear them, as do many others… thank you for this excellent post about community.
I agree. We all need community. We all need affirmation. And we all need good kiwi. hehehe (I do love me some kiwi)
Absolutely- we think our words of encouragement fall on deaf ears so we too often stay silent. Instead we need to trust the God who gave us a voice to speak and use it for His glory… Thanks Bonnie.
What a beautiful post, Bonnie! It is so true that “God has given us the gift of words through community.” I love that! Community offers us so much encouragement and affirmation. Thanks, Bonnie!
I love reading your blog but don’t often comment because your writing skill and depth of content make it so that I usually don’t know what to say… because there’s nothing to add!
The problem with that is that it destroys the community of blogging.
This is a great post, Bonnie. I’m glad you’re a part of this community!
“Just as others have slayed me with their words, God has healed me through others.
I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it weren’t for the lifegiving words of some who were generous with their encouragement and friendship.”
These words are so poignant/profound for all of us in some way. Thank you for writing down truth.
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Words really do carry a lot of power.
@Glynn: Thanks, Glynn.
@Janet: Welcome, Janet. Happy to meet another faith barista!
@Susan: Great addition to the post from Proverbs, Susan. Thanks!
@Katdish: Well said. That is the hope in sharing, that we can comfort another. Thnx, Kat!
@Mo: Oh, I would LOVE to visit A Kiwi Cafe!! I am crazy about cafe’s, especially such a unique one as this.. and the dessert.. (sigh)..
@Bernadette: Thanks, Bernadette. Welcome! “Imperfections are important, because growth rises form them.” Wonderfully encouraging.
@Bridget: Thanks, Bridget. It’s been great having you in the community.
@Maureen: LOL.!!! I have gotten into a total kiwi kick since then. It’s a super food!
@Jason: That is such great encouragement, Jason. It’s true that is why I sometimes stay silent. Thanks for focusing words to giving God the glory.
@Heather: Thanks, Heather! Your blog does that – affirm.
@Peter: Oh, no — I don’t want to destroy community! I am happy to be in the community, Peter!
@Kathleen: Thanks, Kathleen. Happy to have your visit today!
Altho many of us write for fun or profit, it is easy to forget how important the spoken word can be to build up each other. Thanks for the reminder.
katdish stole my comment 🙂 So DITTO the lovely katdish.
So nice to meet you, lady. I love this bloggy community!
‘True community isn’t “pretty” because it’s human. It’s imperfections can hurt, but it opens opportunities to love. God has used community to open my heart, beyond the borders of myself.”
All great thoughts, but that was my favorite. Community is never going to be pretty because we all bring our own messes to the table. Good stuff!
An engaging question, an honest open answer. A small yet significant moment that could easily have been missed. You spotted the four-leaf clover in the whole patch of green!
@Jaime: Yes, eventhough some tear down, thankfully some build up. Nice to meet you.
@Heatherofthe EO: Great to meet you, too!
@Matt: “Community is never going to be pretty because we all bring our own messes to the table.” That is the truth – in our messes, we find comfort and love. Wonderful to meet you here!
@Elaine: Thanks for the encouragement, Elaine!