God’s Unique Family

Each man speaks from his heart’s abundance.
From Luke 6:45

While helping our granddaughters pack their suitcases after an overnight stay at our house, I checked under the beds for stray socks and flip-flops. In the process, I discovered a storage bin which I’d stowed years earlier. I’d left it untouched because I thought it held my son’s memorabilia. When I looked more closely, I saw that the label on top read “Mary’s Childhood and Teens”. A few days later, I returned to that container and the forgotten treasures inside…

When I opened my high school yearbook, I discovered handwritten messages from friends and teachers. Familiar faces filled my memory. The message written near Sister Imelda’s picture took me back to freshman year religion class. Sister Imelda had observed that we can get a good picture of ourselves by looking at our friends. I took this to mean that our friends mirror who we are. When I taught, I often noted that the “good” kids gravitated toward one another, while their less cooperative peers did the same. Still, good kids were sometimes conned by the allure of unsavory acquaintances. At the same time, placing a troubled child in good company resulted in unexpected liaisons that widened the horizons of all concerned. These amazing friendships changed everything for the children involved. Perhaps I missed the meaning of Sister Imelda’s observation. It isn’t that our friends mirror us, but that their company is witness to our openness to one another regardless of our similarities and differences.

As I consider my very unique granddaughters and the variety of friends and teachers who fill my yearbook, I see that our openness to others is key to a rich life. We have so much to learn from one another!

Dear God, thank you for giving us such a unique family.


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