As I watch the freezing rain turn our bit of visible world into ice-covered scenery, I ponder lineages and families. What keeps the family intact and strong through many generations? What makes our family pictures such treasures? What makes the family stories familiar and precious?
Even as I watched the limbs fall from the trees, like fall leaves, because of the weight of ice, I have seen families fall apart because of the weight of the death of unconditional love in a family. Just as we slip and fall in an ice-covered world, we slip and fall in our lives because of the lack of support and unconditional love from and to our families. Where does that love come from? How can we forgive and love when we have been hurt?
This morning I read from John 15, these words -How can we be 'at home' in love? What gives us 'roots' and strength? This strength comes from experiencing and giving unconditional love. And forgiveness, 70 times 7. Forgiveness and love are the two sides of the coin called joy and peace.
"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.
Four lines from Anna Daisy Siemens:
Involve yourselves to live And to be blessed, you give... For lives that overflow, Shine with a happy glow.For the past two weeks, we have received emails from two cousins who are tracing the Combs genealogy back several more generations to another country. How exciting to learn about more family. It has been several years since I first looked at the picture of John William Combs and asked, "Who are you?" "Where did you come from?" "What were you like when you lived on the earth?"
In generations to come, will my great- great - grandchildren wonder about me and what kind of a person I was? Will they wonder what I thought about, what I believed in? Will my faith in Jesus Christ speak to them through the ages, just as Abraham's faith speaks to us from God's Word? This is what I wonder about the many generations of our families.
Mom's prayer encapsulated my thoughts in rhyme, as I consider my family.
Our family ties are wonderful,
When love is used as 'tying string'
With here a tug and there a pull,
It soon becomes a lovely thing.
Each morning when I plan my day
I vow to make another start;
I'll pray for extra strength and grace
To tie family with a loving heart.
Proverbs 11:28-30 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air; common sense tells you it's a stupid way to live. A good life is a fruit-bearing tree; a violent life destroys souls.