I cried a lot last week.
Now, in classic Ronne fashion, the tears were tucked away in early-morning prayers and mid-afternoon private ponderings. And as always, I met them with “all the things I know to be true” about faith and this season and this year and being a creative and growing older and work and rest and life.
But sometimes what is truth and what is true crack like lightning against each other.
The tears were filled with the death of a warm-witted friend, the angst of better-do-more as an author and a marketer, the homesick ache for real conversation, the longing for collaborative creativity, the frustration of a country gone rogue, the still ambiguous landscape of the days ahead. I cried about promises broken, calendars ripped to shreds, a faith that feels far too fragile for my age. I’m called to share real hope for purpose-weary warriors—hope I without hesitation believe is real, and yet…
I cried a lot last week.
And then, I got a thank you note. It was about bread given as a welcome gift to new neighbors a few weeks ago. Earlier that day, my husband heard a commotion outside. Their pup had been hit by a car that didn’t even bother to stop. Brad ran out to help get the pup into a car so he could be taken to the emergency vet. There was hope.
Me? I was in the kitchen making Japanese milk bread. We wrapped up one of the loaves and took it next door.
The pup had died.
There were so many tears. And the gift seemed so small and worthless in light of the moment.
A few days ago, the family came over to return the baking dish. There was a note.
“Thank you for cradling our dog. Thank you too for the bread. It was the only thing we ate for two days—we were heartbroken, and it was the only thing that tasted good. Maybe we could buy some more?”
This weekend, I baked Japanese milk bread until I ran out of hours. A basket is going to the neighbors. And more to a friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one. And more to a friend who struggles with the season.
I can hear the words, “Be resolute, stay small, fill the space…” in my head and heart. They’re words from the book, from the women who keep reminding me what matters. I need to sit with the women again, and listen to their wisdom.
It’s not about being an author. It’s not about being a marketer. It’s not about writing lovely things or filling calendars or making headlines. It’s just you and me, baking bread, and being here for each other. That’s how we change the world.