The Family We Have, and the Family We Help Create
On days like Mother’s Day, it’s helpful to remember that as much as we might celebrate our birth families, God brings us together for something more, to be a new kind of family. We are a new birth, new creation, big, wide, everyone is wanted and welcomed family.
For those whose family of origin is full of love, support, and joy, rejoice and praise God. But don’t stop by celebrating the good; seek to share the good. Make room in your home and at your table for those who lack what you have. God’s goal is for the family of God to be a people among whom the happy and hurting bond together, where the fulfilled and frustrated share life, where those who have always felt supported and those who have often felt isolated form new bonds through love.
For those whose family is full of disappointments, disagreements, division, and distance, don’t give up on loving your family. Keep offering kindness and forgiveness whether you receive it or not, but also don’t limit your vision of family. Look around. You’re not alone. You’re not abandoned. You’re not forgotten. You are wanted. You are family. You belong. And you have the opportunity to be to others what you wish others had been for you. Offer support and unconditional acceptance you feel you missed out on.
We are the family of God called to create connections where there is separation. We extend belonging were there is isolation. We become mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. This has always been God’s nature. “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families…( Ps 66:5-6).” Or another way to say that, he gives the desolate, those without a home, a place to belong.