Tuesday, October 1, 2013

His Most Beautiful Creation

Friday night we watched the season premiere of Blue Bloods on CBS.  I have shared before that I like this show because it centers around family relationships.  Whether it is the extended family that sits around the table every Sunday for a meal, or the family dressed in blue down at the precinct.  They don't always agree, but they respect each other, forgive grievances, and move forward.  It may be only a TV show, but it works in real life too. 

 The show got me thinking about the importance of family relationships, and I scribbled back to a time in my thirties when I was going to college to be an interpreter for the deaf in a medical setting.  Part of my training was to visit with people in a high rise nursing home.  I was assigned two women.  One was deaf and blind but could speak.  I communicated with her by signing every letter of American Sign Language into her hand. The other was a retired missionary woman who was very ill and spent her days in a darkened room.  I sat quietly with her speaking in gentle tones.  Presence was more important than talking.  The one year on Christmas day, our whole family, including five kids and my mom, drove down to the Twin Cities for an extended family gathering.  Before going we attended church and then offered to take poinsettia plants over to the nursing home where I volunteered.  The people were so grateful for our visit that we could hardly get out of there.  Hundreds of people and so many without anyone to come see them~~~ even on Christmas.

What happened to the families of these people?  Were relationships broken beyond repair?  Was it just easier to walk away than resolve conflicts?  Were their families ALL living far away or "too busy" to visit loved ones?

Yesterday we were reading a devotional where a young man shared about his family trip to Alaska.  His mom had planned the trip for everyone and on the last day they were going to spend 14 hours  on a school bus...on gravel roads....driving through a national park. It did not sound like fun!   He said he enjoyed seeing God's creation outside the windows the first few hours, but towards the end when every mountain looked the same, he realized he was having a greater time with his family......even on a school bus....on a gravel road.  He came to understand this:

"God's most beautiful creation,
as it turns out,
 is a loving family."
This one sentence spoke volumes to us. 

Joel has been an ordained pastor for 33 years.  He has counseled hundreds of people surrounding the issues of broken relationships.   Even though he/we saw many people who were very connected to their loved ones, we have also known of many who were all alone with little or no contact with family. We, as a couple, have watched many families fractured by unforgiveness and misunderstandings over the years.  We have seen that in our own families.  We have recognized it in ourselves. 

Don't misunderstand me.  I realize that there are abusive family relationships that need to hold strong boundaries, but I am not speaking of those here.
Getting back to Blue Bloods, this past episode the family was at odds with each other.  Differences of opinions over something work related brought conflict at the Sunday dinner table.  But they eventually worked it out.  Why?  Because it was important.  I realize family challenges are not resolved in an hour!  I also realize that not many are blessed to have their children and grandchildren live near enough to gather for Sunday dinners....... But the message on this show was similar to the devotional we read.  God's creation of a loving family is one of His greatest works.  

So what is a loving family?  The definition of family has faded and morphed into something different since we grew up in the 50's and 60's, yet, I cannot help but come back to what we believe.  Family is family.  A loving family is one that works things out.   It makes the effort to maintain relationships that are sometimes difficult but so important.  Staying close to those we love means sacrifice, forgiveness, unselfishness, and lots of love.  It means remembering that God created family for a purpose.  It is one of His most beautiful creations!


Debbie Huffaker said...

So well said, Ms. Renee. I have no idea what I would do without my family....okay, most of them!!! ;-) HOPE you have a great day!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there Renee, Love this post-such truth on so many levels. Many years ago I cross stitched a pillow that read Families are Forever. I love it.
Thanks for sharing.

Renee said...

Hi Debbie
Thank you for coming by. Bless you!

Renee said...

Hi Noreen
Yes, families are forever....we are connected in so many ways no matter what kind of distance keeps us apart! Like your pillow :)

Renee said...

Hi Noreen
Yes, families are forever....we are connected in so many ways no matter what kind of distance keeps us apart! Like your pillow :)

Kim said...

This speaks a lot to some of the things God has been sharing with me and the importance of the family unit in society. I wish every family was a loving and healthy one, because I can't even imagine what a different world it would be if that was the case.

Sharon said...

Such a good message, and one that I needed to hear tonight. There is a situation in my extended family right now that is really straining relationships. I am praying so much that God will work in all of our hearts, and that He will bring the harmony and unity that is so desperately needed right now.


Renee said...

Thank you Kim for sharing with all your readers what God is whispering to you too....it helps us grow.

Renee said...

Hi Sharon
Glad it was helpful. Amen to your prayers.