A Letter to “Family,”

I was born into a traveling family. Growing up I struggled with issues of identity and loss. What was home? What was this nagging sense of displacement?

I remember traveling in Italy as a young child and looking for the face of my grandmother in the crowd–despite my knowledge that she was not there. There was no chance that my middle-aged grandmother had jetted off for a Roman holiday in the spring of 1977

I had family members who I loved who did and said and believed things I did not. I found their beliefs deeply painful. How could I love them but not their way of seeing the world?

I settled on loving them but not the faults in their world views, and uneasy, precarious compromise, and one I have not much improved upon in all the years since.I struggle with disappointment in the collective institution of “family,” just as I have with “church,” “friendship,” “community,” and “club.”

People fail each other in big and little ways all the time, but Jesus never does. He is this extraordinary voice for justice, for love, for honor, for hope. His family resemblance marks the best of us.

Jesus does not look like a white guy in a flowing robe. He does not look like any of the famous pictures we have of him.

What he looks like is Love. Love that protects. Love that shelters. Love that never fails.

And that kind of family resemblance is hard to miss…when we find it among us in this broken world.

Matthew 12:48-50

1 Corinthians 13

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