I like to bake but am not always organized. I find myself sometimes scrambling with substitutions, hoping it somehow all holds together. More than one muffin has a ragged bottom because I wanted to love my people, but I grew impatient. Does it mean I don’t love them enough to get it right? I sure hope not. A lot of love has come from my kitchen even if it will not make a baking show. These flawed works somehow are beautiful in God’s hands.
In 2000, the late bell hooks wrote “All About Love,” saying that to truly love we must learn to mix all the ingredients. Translating that baking metaphor, she wrote about love and justice, gender and forgiveness, worthiness and family, things Ephesians says we are created for in Christ to be our way of life. Laylah Ayatollah Barren, a documentary photographer and writer decided to ask people to tell such stories in their photos of being together with beloveds which she captured in “Love in Black- a Portrait Story.” Vignettes from people far away brought near tell their way of life.
“Love is a resting place…a chance to show up as you are in front of your beloved…to accept the human nature of self and others. Love understands that people are often angry or afraid or sad and offers us the grace to figure it out. - Radhiyah Ayobami
“Love is all the warm fuzzy feelings that we know of it...and it is a continuous decision. Duty sustains love and in faith, God joins it all together and fills in the gaps.”- Said Jonas and Robert Salomon Kiongo Bankousssou
“In this photo you just see me. You don’t see my 7-year-old who happily helped me get dressed…my partner who after a long day of work drove me to the beach…my good friend who always has the biggest laugh and encouraging words…my friend whose smile will make your heart melt… This is not a photo of me… it captures a moment where people were in the midst of producing love. I am thankful that I was present and able to recognize and receive it.” - Tanika “Tree” Williams
Prayer- Lord who created us in love for love, draw us near to your love in the cross. Form our way of life and fill our gaps with your grace. Amen.
Rev. Carolyn Hetrick
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.