The Gift of Second Chances

This last weekend, my friend Kelly gave me a gift.

Well, she gave me a few gifts, actually. She gave me the gift of her time, her presence, her sweetness, her heart, and her cooking.

Oh, her cooking.

I was in food heaven. She came over for the afternoon, and we talked for hours, and then we cooked. She called it “cooking together”, but really, I just watched her, and tried to remember everything she did so that I can make the same meal on my own.

She brought over a big box of fresh vegetables and salmon, and introduced me to celery root. (Who knew my new favorite food has been waiting for me at Superstore all this time?)

And while her food was amazing, there was something even more significant about the time spent with Kelly.

You see, I’ve known Kelly for two and a half years, and yet I’ve never hung out with her before, one on one. For whatever reason, we’ve never truly connected during those two and a half years.

She worked at camp for a few summers, and then she left. It could easily have worked out that I wouldn’t have seen her again.

But some stuff happened, we were able to connect through email, and before I knew it, there she was at my door with her celery root. And when she left, I was completely baffled as to why, in those two and a half years, we had never done this before.

Why did we keep missing this connecting point? Why did I get the impression that we wouldn’t have much in common? How did I manage to miss out on this for all that time?

I have to say that I really don’t know. But I am so, so thankful that Kelly gave me the gift of a second chance. If she had never emailed me, we would have missed each other completely.

Has this ever happened to you before? I ask, because it’s not the first time it’s happened to me. And it makes me wonder…

Do we allow first impressions to get in the way? Are we blinded to some of the good things (people!) that are right in front of us? Or is it because we’re not ready yet, and we reach the point of connection when God has finally brought our hearts to the right place?

I don’t know. But I do know that when someone has the courage to reach out in a vulnerable attempt to connect, it can result in beautiful things.

And when we listen to lies like, “That person will think I’m strange for emailing!” or “What if they don’t really want to talk with me?”, we could be running the risk of missing out on something really amazing.

Like celery root!

Or someone like Kelly…

Is there someone in your life whom you long to connect with, but have been too afraid to reach out to?