Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Over the years there have been a number of dinner table conversations in our house that have gone along the lines of: “You know that the people who are seated at this table are some of the best friends that you will have in this life because they are the most constant. They understand you better than most anyone else can because they know your past and lived it with you. Family is about loving and always being there for you because that is what family does.” Sometimes those conversations were followed with the “so you better get over whatever the issue is and start living like it...” (any of you with siblings or kids I’m sure can relate). But more often than not these conversations were the result of dealing with our transient life style and grieving the loss of a really good friend or extended family and just remembering that when everything else in life seems to be changing there are still some constants that you can depend on.

Yes, I bought both!
This week I had a reminder that we are blessed with multiple families in this world. The reminder came in the form of African cloth for a wedding. I need to explain that African printed cloth is sometimes used in a similar way to printed t-shirts in North America; they can be used as a “uniform” that gives you a sense of belonging and identification with a group. When important occasions occur like a wedding you will see a number of people wearing the same cloth, the outfits may be entirely different but the cloth will be the same. Usually at weddings the family of the bride will choose one print and the family of the groom will choose another. I had the unique experience this week of being asked by a member of the groom’s family if I wanted to buy the uniform cloth after I had already been asked (and had purchased) the bride’s family cloth. I was deeply touched, because I have been to a number of weddings where I was seen as the outsider and not invited to wear the “uniform” and here I was not only asked to wear one but both! (This was a young couple in our church that was getting married and the groom’s family had been neighbours of ours long before he started to attend the church.) That was when it struck me that the church is a big family. It doesn’t matter where we go in the world the church is there. And in the church we should be able to find people who will understand us, forgive & love us (with all of our warts, wrinkles & other peculiarities) and help us as we grow and develop into the people God wants us to be. Because that’s what family does.
An example of a "uniform" from a friend's wedding a while back
Praying that you have a special sense of family this week in your church and thanks for praying for the election. The first round of voting seemed to go well the next will be on March 20th.

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