I doubt that there is anyone who has better friends or more friends than I do. I am grateful to God and to my friends for the gift they are to me.
Yet, I find myself mourning the lack of family. I married late in life and do not have my own children. My husband now has dementia, which robs us of meaningful relationship.
This loss of not having a family becomes especially painful to me on holidays. It seems like everyone knows where they are going to spend the holiday and with whom. I always am invited somewhere, but it always feels like I am the added on one.
I have given you this background so that you have a context for what I want to say next.
My only nephew, who I do have a deep life- giving relationship with, lives in Houston. This week, he and his two step children, plus a cousin of these children, have visited this area and invaded my house as if it was their own.
On one of our days together I said, “I am so thankful to have this time with you because I don’t have a family.”
This cousin, who has just turned 15, seemed perplexed as he looked deep into my eyes and said, “You have a really big family.” He then went on to list the members of this extended Mexican family that was now claiming me as one of them.
My heart was stirred as my mind questioned. “What is the reason for him embracing me as family?”
Is it simply because my nephew married his aunt?
Is it just this one relationship that extends to me all the benefits of family?
How could this concept of family help us in the church?
What if we were to look deep into each other’s eyes and say that because you belong to Jesus, we belong to each other?
Just this one relationship…
That is a beautiful vision for the church—- feeling marginalized and rather left out is something that many of us have never felt or understood. Thank you for sharing your situation and feelings. I think this 15 year old cousin just might be on to something that we could model much better in the context of the church and other situations as well.
Thank you Roselyn and we look forward to hearing more about your new family!
Thank you, Susan. Let’s make this happen!