Tuesday, March 21, 2006

La Familia

After spending a week with some of our extended family in Colorado, I've been reminded how strange a lot we are. And how common the human condition is. Our extended family is a wonderfully irritating blend of Caucasion, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. Protestant, Catholic, Reformed, and Agnostic. Alcoholic and tee-totaler. Plastic surgery-obsessives ... and slobs.

Driving home, listening to King's X, the words of Doug Pinnick struck me hard. "Everyone of us loves everyone of us." Yes, Sister Sledge, we ARE family. We don't always get along. We irritate each other when we talk about politics, religion, and child-rearing. The religious crowd irritates the agnostic bunch. The Protestants don't understand why we couldn't have had hot dogs on Friday night. Those observing Lent don't get why it's not a bigger deal to the others. Others' chlildren get on our nerves. The women form little gossip groups while the men slip into an evening of ESPN-induced comas...something about Terrell Owens signing on to play for the Big Tuna...

But on Sunday morning, we packed up and hugged each other. The events of the week didn't matter anymore. The bottom line was that we share the same bloodline. Our blood defines us. And blood is thicker than, well, ...anything temporal. We don't always get along. We seldom spend a week without a heated argument, but in the end, we love each other. Everyone of us loves everyone of us.

It's a beautiful picture of The Church. Broken. Dysfunctional. Conservative and Liberal. Republican, Democrat, and Green. Black, white, brown, yellow, red. From wealthy to welfare recipient. In the end, we have the same Blood running through our veins. It is what defines us. We argue and bicker. We fight. Sometimes over inconsequential things...sometimes over bigger issues. Some gather in the corner to choose sides and talk about those in the other corner of the room. Some simply slip into the rote, auto-pilot mode of ministry and go through the motions without much passion or life. We are an immature, capricious, insecure, and egotistic bunch.

And the amazing thing? We are His Bride. His Lover. The apple of His eye.

Does everyone of us love everyone of us? Jesus said, "This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other."

Now, that's family.


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