Last week after the “official” election results were announced my daughter, Crystal, posted an interesting thought on Facebook. “Now, the real work can begin!!”
Indeed, there is MUCH to be done. For me, that work begins with reflections on the new lessons we have all learned over the previous four years, about ourselves as a nation and as individuals within that nation. One of the foremost lessons is about our relationships with our BFF’s, parents, and others whom we hold near and dear.
I have personally learned that many of my siblings (by other mothers) are or have been quite naïve and almost simplistic in their views of the nature of human beings. Nevertheless, reading a sibling’s blog yesterday reminded me of how many are truly suffering with the grief and pain of loosing family members and close friends due to political or ideological differences. Who knows, you may be one of them.
Now, with a time of food and fellowship just around the corner, some discover that those whom they have shared bread with for years (or even a lifetime), will no longer speak or converse with them at all as a consequence of the overtly divisive climate that has been made manifest in our common life. It is sad and painful to acknowledge. But I want to assure you that there is always a lesson to be learned as we journey through life…and THIS is a lesson indeed. “Blood may be thicker than water, but the spirit of the heart binds us to one another.
While reading my brother, John’s laments about his loss of personal and familial ties, I recalled an experience from the life of Jesus of Nazareth which could shed some meaningful light on what he and many may be experiencing.
In the third chapter of Mark, Jesus has been teaching something different from the religious establishment of his day. Additionally, his teachings are accompanied by acts that are truly amazing. Some of the religious elite slander him openly suggesting that he is aligned with Satan and not God. So many people surround his home for hearing and healing, that the local folks start talking and his own family thinks he has gone a bit loco and must be protected from the crowds. They need to stop him from acting this way. The text says:
“When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind!’” (verse 21)
When his family calls to him, Jesus’ response was not quite what was expected from someone living in a society where family was essential to the meaning of life, itself. His response is astounding.
“Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those who sat around him, he said, “here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (verses 33-35)
Now I ask you, what is GOD’s will, except to love?
Jesus words are a shocking redefinition of what that society would have thought family meant. Family, it turns out, is not a matter of biology or even ideology, but of loyalty, respect, and mutual deference to God’s will. Blood may be thicker than water, the spirit of the heart is love and that binding is deeper and eternal.
This may not be comforting to John or many others, but there is a lesson here if we can receive it. I have to admit the times I have experienced the loss of a close familial relationship has been neither comfortable nor convenient, but I know there is a lot to be said for siblings (by other mothers) whose hearts beat in loving rhythm. I actually have quite a few of those! Not biologically or even ideologically compatible all the time, our desire to-be-in-Relationship with each other instead of to be right, transcends our conflict. Somehow, we work it out.
BTW, the Relationship, is not our own…it is GOD’s. That is why the “R” is capitalized! The Relationship is in, with, and through The Holy Mystery whom we call God. It is a different world with new lessons. I continue to learn daily.
So, my Brothers and Sisters (of other mothers), be encouraged and keep learning. The old Pete Seeger song says, “keep your eyes on the prize and hold on.”
With prayers of LIGHT & LOVE,