I fumble my way out of bed, resisting my body’s reminder that last night was a late one, replete with stories and laughter and mild abuses. But the truth is that finding these guys in the big, airy house takes priority over another minute of shut-eye. A half-hour later, and one is sitting across from me, balancing the morning’s scripture and coffee in the same lap, while the other takes the piano with force, filling the place with music, like it’s the most natural thing to do.
And I’m quickly overwhelmed by these gifts, these boys I cherish.
And I really mean “boys” in the most endearing of ways, for they are men. These two are fiercely loyal, abundantly generous, punch-in-your-gut wise. They tell the hard stories, they seek to protect, they cultivate, they create. They wrestle with Truth, pursue Goodness, and treasure Beauty. They love, and love well.
We are the most likely to make a scene anywhere—museum, grocery, coffeeshop, bookstore. We easily dance between music and theology and running shorts, circling back often to grace.
From them, I learn that chasing big dreams can be a sort of faithfulness. I learn that God constantly surprises us, that He is making all things new, that He weaves and shapes and bends and speaks. Here. Now.
They have shown me how to cut lemons and how to make the sign of the Cross, how to ask for help and how to fall in love. They give me the tough answers, nudging and nodding. They hear what I am really saying, when I don’t even know what that is. They teach me how to walk with questions, how to loosen my grip on things that are not mine to hold forever.
They see me when I do not want to be seen, they speak words that build.
And, well, they are just as likely to tease me for being a girl or photo-bomb my twitter—some kind of twentysomething version of tugging on a ponytail, as brothers are likely to do.
I love them still, even though I often do not know how, even though my words are failing me.
But I know that now, in the brief repose of Jerry’s playing, as he reaches for his coffee and Preston underlines another verse, that my only response is to offer feeble thanks and praise. For the beauty of this friendship that undoubtedly seems odd from the outside, for this strange and undeserved grace I have been given, for this love that often looks like hair-pulling.