I have a new friend. I’ll call him Storm.

From what I know of Storm so far, he reminds me of a walking tornado (hence the name). He will usually join us at our Monday lunch gatherings, showing up early to help set up. He sets up the tables very quickly, which often means that he takes a long time to set up chairs because he likes to colour coordinate them. He makes up for this delay by haphazardly placing cutlery at each place by the plates that I’ve carefully centred by each chair, and napkin I’ve delicately folded. Cups are placed on one side of the plate and then another depending on the table. A tornado of an arrangement.

As disorganized as this may seem, and as painstaking as it is for a control freak like me, I’ve come to really enjoy our morning routine, as I have gotten to know Storm during this time and can work on seeing The Good. When I first met Storm and we started this routine, it took all of me not to fix every single thing he did. Not to straighten out the place settings or put the cups on the same side.

But to know Storm is to know that he is calm in the midst of his chaos. That he makes the coffee really early so that it is fully brewed and ready for when people will want it (although he might yell at you if you try to touch it too early). That he warms the muffins that we get donated because he knows they taste better this way. That he will offer to fill your plate with food before his own, and will offer everyone around our table this same gift. That I feel the need to sit next to him during announcements so that his constant noise doesn’t disturb others, but that he sits quiet during the prayer. That he likes lots of sugar in his coffee, and will remember how you like yours. That he invites me outside to chat, and although he talks in circles and sometimes I have no idea what he means, he asks me to keep him company and hopes that he can be company for me as well. The Good.

I often think that to the world, we are like Storm. We are rowdy, loud, and quick to move. People judge us by our outbursts and by the fact that we can’t sit still. That we get angry and yell and break things. That we are too “much”. I think we are all like Storm to God as well, but He sees The Good. The good intentions and joyful offering to help. The pain that comes out in the circles we talk through. The giving and graceful. The kind and helpful. He sees the calm in our chaos and for that I am grateful because I know for sure that some days I am a walking tornado as well.

I am grateful for my new friend Storm and all that he offers to our community, and for all that he teaches me about patience. For his peace and his chaos.

And I am grateful for a God that sees The Good in me too.