Family reunions are something of a fascination to me. Families getting together all in the name of reuniting and seeing one another. Remembering the hugs of yesterday all sound great; except for many it’s not that at all. It’s drudgery of giving time to go to some ranch or house with not enough room for everyone in the middle of summer when it’s humid, too many loud screaming kids; and the crazy aunt or uncle that just hasn’t died yet. Now families can just save the money and use social media to reunited and be done with it. And that folks is where we tend to be in society. So sad.
And so being in it is one thing; and seeing it from the outside is quite another. Every family is unique. Every family has its own level of function; and dysfunction. Every family has its things that need forgiving and in most families there is some angry and bitter cousin or sibling that has yet to learn how to ask for forgiveness.
On a recent trip to TN I witnessed a family reunion. I was just along for the ride; just observing really. What I saw was amazing! I saw so much love and peace; and food. Yes food. One can’t have a reunion without food; especially in the South!
What I saw was African Americans and Caucasians in love. What I saw were mixed couples standing on the basketball court holding hands, dancing; with a sweet peck. No hatred. No. Not in this family. There may be but it was hidden well; although as their t-shirts read, “A family that prays together stays together’ truly says it all. If only we could grasp that across America we may be stronger together. You see a house divided cannot stand; nor can a country.
A family divided by color cannot stand. A family divided by hatred, jealousy, envy or unforgiveness cannot stand. It will crumble and many do.
So as you reflect on your family what do you see? Seriously- what do you see? Do you see love in color or is it just black and white? Do you see children playing basketball together in too big t-shirts? Do you see people eating and laughing together because there is just peace and love surrounding them? If not- why not? Is it what you are allowing that’s keeping your family where it is?
Life is short and families are a blessing. No family is perfect and I know from personal experience. I have had more sets of parents and lived in more households than any child should. Your family is not perfect and it’s not supposed to be. It can’t be. You are in it. What it can be; however, is filled with love. It can be filled with forgiveness. It can be filled with joy everlasting; should you choose it to be.
Before the time slips by and takes another member; know that you were given a family for a reason. If you are not in a family or think you don’t belong; be in mine. There is room for you; there always is. You are loved, cherished and have a purpose regardless of where you go. On that day those in TN were just living their lives perhaps knowing individually their purpose although not collectively. I’m sure they do now as their purpose what to bear witness to others of what love and forgiveness looks like. And what a blessing those two are together when shared by so many. Thank you Coleman Family for that gift.