Need To Be Known

tomato pie

A friend and I were discussing earlier last week how we all want to be needed.
Don’t we all really want to feel like we are making a difference somehow,
somewhere in the world, or at least in our own small corner? It’s an amazing
feeling when someone needs you and you are able to help.

My friend and
I were texting last night, after 9 pm, discussing that our young ones had not
eaten supper yet.   Our neighborhood walk and playing in the sprinklers had
delayed the evening meal in our home.  (I LOVE Summer!)  I was reheating, and
she was cooking.  She then sent me a picture of part of her supper.  A
beautiful, delectable, mouth-watering tomato pie.  Oh my.  Suddenly my bowl of
cereal with fresh, juicy blueberries wasn’t looking as wonderful as I had
thought it would be.  (I really had been looking forward to this–we’re talking
fresh blueberries after all!)

“You’re mean, like that Taylor Swift song.
That looks yummy!” I texted.

“But you don’t even like tomatoes.” She
wrote back.

I stopped.  What? How does she know?  I was overwhelmed with
a warm feeling (we call them warm fuzzies at our house).  It enveloped me, and I
was filled with gratitude for this friend who KNEW something quirky about me.

“Well I do if they’re cooked, and I’m trying to enjoy them on sandwiches
if there’s mayonnaise.”

“I’ll bring you some to try.”

And she
did just that.  Today I reheated the yummy goodness that was the tang of
tomatoes and the gooeyness of cheese–ultimate summer comfort food.  DELICIOUS!
(I think I licked the foil–it was just that good!)  Such a gift.  But truly
(and don’t tell her because I love having leftovers shared with me) the greater
gift was the gift of being known.  This girl, my friend, not only listened to
me, but she heard me.  She is learning me one conversation at a time, just as
I am with her.  Why she remembered my quirkiness about tomatoes, I don’t know,
but I am so thankful she did.  In that one text message, I heard, “You matter to
me.  I know you.”

Too often in a conversation I listen without really
hearing. Too often in the clutter and busyness of the days, I pass
by folks–folks who have a story to share.  I listen to someone telling me about
their trip or a book they read or why they don’t wear polka dots on rainy days,
and I don’t engage in the conversation.  My mind is wandering to what I might
say next or my grocery list or whether the dishwasher has been unloaded, and I
miss the opportunity to learn about the precious person in front of me.

Next time the opportunity presents itself I hope I will take the time to
listen and to hear, because this is one of the greatest gifts to give–a gift
that says “you matter so much to me I want to hear you and get to know the
awesome creature that is YOU!”  It’s guaranteed to create warm fuzzies.

In the meantime, I’m off to see if I can find some tomatoes.  I’m a work
in progress after all. Just might try them fresh.  If not, I know a friend who
has an awesome tomato pie recipe!

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