She was due to come home any minute. Eager to see her I had cookies fresh out of the oven. The candle in the bay window above my kitchen sink burned sweetly and twinkle lights lined the entrance to the mudroom. Her sisters were coloring contentedly at the homework table nearby and her favorite tunes were streaming into the room. The garage door was open so when the neighbor dropped her off she could walk right in the back door and be immersed in the coziness we had waiting for her. My girl loves school so I couldn’t wait to hear all about her day.
As I diced the carrots I was prepping for dinner the back door flew open as she threw her backpack down and began ranting about her day. I hadn’t had a chance to poor her a cup of milk before she was in tears. I rushed over and hugged her as she sobbed and slowly told me about what was bothering her. My plans didn’t matter; she needed a safe place to let it all out. She found it with me.
When the Mudroom first opened its door, just under a year ago, we said:
Whatever junk you’re carrying with you, you can leave it here. However much a mess you are today, the mudroom is here for you, a place to drop all the other selves we are constantly putting on and taking off, a place to catch your breath as your soul catches up with you.
And we mean it.
Each month we write on a different theme, allowing our writers to share bits of themselves. They enter the Mudroom and find a safe place to put their things down; a place filled with people waiting and listening. But sometimes when we enter we have a lot with us. Anger, frustration, disappointment. Sometimes our passion is overflowing and we just need to let it out.
This is where Free Write Fridays come in.
Sometimes it is the news of a twelve-year-old boy shot without any accountability. A tenured professor being suspended and fired. Protests. Gun control. Orphan care. Refugees. Elections. Brutality. Neighborhood violence. Poverty. Homelessness. Education. Creation care. Abortion.
There is just. so. much.
Each Friday, off script, someone is going to share. They are going to walk into this safe place and they are going to tell us what is hurting them. They are going to share the thing that keeps them up at night, and we will be here to listen, to open our ears and hearts to them and say, “We see you. We hear you.” They might challenge us. They might share something diametrically different than you believe. But we will be open to what God is stirring in them and affirm it.
What do you need to say? Find your place here.