May 9, 2010
"The Miracle of God's Love"
When I reflect back on my raising I am somewhat awed! As an adult it begins to dawn on me the many sacrifices my parents made on my behalf and on behalf of my two siblings. I was raised to believe that family was everything. I still believe that today! There is no other tool God uses more effectively in someone's life to illustrate what it means to be accepted, loved, and forgiven than family. Now I realize that my statement is not true of every family. If anyone knows the truth of how families are sometimes the last place persons feel love and acceptance it is me. Afterall I witnessed firsthand the effects of such families on people as the Chaplain at the Methodist Children's Home for 12 years. But please let me brush the canvass with a broad stroke here. My hope would be that those families are the exception and not the rule. Maybe I am being naive but I still believe in family. As I reflect on my own upbringing I thank God for parents who loved me regardless. I always knew that home was safe and that home would help me and that home would heal me. I hosted my family this year for Christmas. There were some 16 of us there. It was fun, loving, restorative, and intimate. My mom is still living. She is now 76. My father is deceased. As we stood in a circle before we opened presents just after we had read the nativity story I turned to my mother and I said, "as the matriarch of this family is there anything you would like to say?" With tears flowing from her eyes and in a voice that cracked she said, "I am so proud of you all!" And with that we bowed and prayed and gave God thanks for our family and the gift that it was to us all.
Today is Mother's Day. I am grateful for my Mom. She never tires of loving us. I can't imagine my life without her. The world can become a ruthless, mean spirited place, that breeds fear in us if we allow it. Sometimes I find myself struggling to not give in to such living. If I learned anything from Mom and Dad it is that life is good because a good and loving God made it. I hope my children came to believe that too! I pray to God that when they reflect on how they were raised that they too will share good memories of love, of hope, of acceptance, of fun, of laughter, of just being together. As I think back to those years of growing up I begin to realize that my family was just another one of God's miracles. It was the place where I learned to love. It was the place where I knew I was loved. It was the place that shaped and formed me. It was the place where God worked in ways I still find it hard to understand or comprehend. It's effect on me will last a lifetime. Just another miracle of God's love in the world. Thank you Lord for loving us so!
I will see you on the road,