Posted by: Kara Luker | October 7, 2011

When they’re all favorites

One of our Top Chef faves

Before my older brother, Christian, moved to Northern California, we had a happy ritual. On Friday nights, Cole and I would jump into Lady Corinne (our green beater station wagon Cole named after his great grandfather’s WWII bomber) and make the 15 minute drive to Christian’s expansive mid-century apartment on the water. Christian, the ever-gracious host, would have our favorite beverages and snacks – maybe even a Godfather pizza from Gina’s – laid out on the coffee table.  It took me all of two seconds to fling off my shoes, hop onto the squishy brown sofa, wrap myself up in the comforter, and turn expectantly to the TV for a recorded episode of Top Chef.

Each season, there were arrogant, self-serving people we all loathed. And there were smart, funny people we all loved. We were generally indifferent to the rest of the characters who didn’t particularly appeal or repel. But every single time, there was at least one person who completely charmed one of us and not the others.

We would continue to gather each Friday and, being the analytical family we are, express our take on each person and element of the show. Without fail, an interesting transformation would take place. A person I initially disliked would become slightly less disdainful to me. Not because they were acting differently, but because I began to see them through Christian’s eyes. More episodes would pass. Without any effort on my part, I would develop an affection for the person… sometimes to such a point that I had difficulty remembering what it was that I disliked in the first place.

This happens with real people too. Christian has a pot-smoking friend in Natchez, Mississippi whom I’ve never met but think of as the greatest thing ever. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that I wouldn’t have had a shred of appreciation for this woman if I’d randomly met her, but I now have an automatic inclination to adore her… which I’m sure will translate to something genuine the day I meet her.

Christian has also been instrumental in shedding new light on my own perceived shortcomings, and has helped me to see myself through his (very loving) eyes. All of this got me thinking. If my perceptions are so dramatically changed through the vision of the brother I trust, how much more will this be true through the perfect God I trust? I mean, think of it. The more I hang out with him, the more I will naturally come to appreciate – and even delight in – the people he loves, which is all of humanity. I couldn’t be happier to share my spot as his favorite daughter with every other person on the planet, and for them to become my favorites too.

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