a farm to table dining experience | supporting individuals transitioning out of incarceration and addiction

In Order to Love...

“Hi, my name is John and I only have a few minutes to explain to you something that means the world to me…”

In reflecting on our last dinner and on all that John shared… I realized that he ended up doing exactly what he was afraid of. He was actively applying what he learned and overcoming a fear of his between the Halibut and sour cherry galette. 

Guests were seated on the lawn beside the stone wall or under a string of lights in the Chuck House at Pleasant Hills Farm. In the middle of a stretch of sweltering days and hot summer  nights we were gifted perfect weather and a beautiful night under the stars, surrounded by candles. After the fourth course was served, just before meandering to the back porch for dessert and coffee by the salt water pool in the garden, there was a break in the night. The music came to a stop and all eyes turned toward John- it was his time to share. The way he took the mic, walks when he talks and his use of casual expressions makes you think he’s comfortable up there and that it’s easy to share. But that’s just it… what he was telling us was that sharing is not easy for him. In fact, he feared it. So much so that when he was talking about listening to someone else sharing their own personal story he had a guttural reaction of “Oh please stop! You are so going to regret this! Don’t you know how people can use personal information to hurt you in ways you can’t imagine!?” And in turn my instinctual reaction was… “what has John been through to make him react and feel that way?” The answer… I don’t know. A lot. He started off with explaining how his abuse of alcohol took him to “places you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy”, and ended up telling us about how living in a community of people that love and trust him as well as being a part of something like Seven Harvests where people want to help and want to give and want to learn about him- has brought him to where he is now. Standing in front of us with a microphone in his hand, absolutely opening up, revealing to our dinner guests some of his deep fears and the dark ways he got there. Together we witnessed a sort of breakthrough- John was trusting us with his life story and in that way he was loving us and allowing us to see him, know him and choose to love him. In closing, John stated “In order to love you must first trust.” 

I’m so thankful that our dinners are not just about the food, or the ambience. 

What is something that means the world to you? Your family? Your faith? Your home? What about trust, love and community? 

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