Collecting prayer concerns near the holidays is always interesting. Everyone has added excitement and stress, and it seems much of that revolves around family.
A roomful of special needs moms all nodded knowingly when one requested, “Prayers appreciated. They’re all coming to town and my family has more issues than TV guide.”
It is great to see extended family, but what happens when they just really don’t understand the reality of life with special needs? Distance allows for prolonged time dwelling in the land of denial. Unrealistic expectations about development or chronic health concerns can take some of the happy out of the holidays.
Wouldn’t it be great to be that perfect, harmonious family? But then again, where do we see examples of that? They are few and far between in the Bible. There has been dysfunction from the beginning. There was that whole issue about deflecting blame and finger pointing when it came to eating an apple, “She made me do it.” “The snake tricked me.” The stakes were raised when jealousy began between their children, ending with murder. There are stories of stealing a birthright, incest, a king having his general murdered in order to steal his wife. These are Biblical values? Not so much, but these are the families in the story of the history of salvation.
Our own families are shining brightly right now, aren’t they? What’s a little misunderstanding in the politically correct terms of disability in comparison? It’s an opportunity for education and conversation.
All relationships are about choices. How do we choose to be together with one another? It is love that wins. Love is a choice. We see it in our actions.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17 NRS)
This fourth week of Advent as we celebrate love and we can see how God’s action in love toward us shows us the way forward. When we make mistakes, God loves us anyway. So much so that he sent his Son so that we could be reconciled and have that example of perfect love. Putting love into action is God’s choice for us, too.
“My in-laws are coming and I’m planning to kill them (a pause just a tad long) with kindness.”
Well chosen, my friend. Love always wins.
Loving God, thank you for the example of perfect love. We fall short. We are human, yet you love us anyway. Help us, too, to offer that grace to others and keep the fun in dysfunction. Amen
Image “Man Holding Book and Looking Askance” by Imagerymajestic from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Rev Doc Lorna