Well, not exactly. Did you know that the subject line of this email is actually a Bible verse?
Psalm 115 verses 13 and 14 says this….(in The Message)
You could, of course, interpret this as God calling you to care for orphans, but as I mentioned in a previous blog entry that 23 of you read, God doesn’t have to call us to do things He’s already asked us to do. Caring for orphans is all over scripture… If you’d like to see a long list of verses that talk about the fatherless and the orphan all you have to do is click here
But today my challenges is this: Let God enlarge your definition of family. My husband has said many times over the years that the lines that define family are permeable. For example, in our world, are the baby mamas of our grandchildren, though not ever connected to us by blood or by marriage, part of our family? You bet. Are the birth families of some of our children who we have gotten to know a part of “us?” Certainly. But we have had other situations as well.
I think back to this story about when Jesus came to Thanksgiving dinner at our house. It happened in 2005 and I wrote about it again in 2017 because it is still a powerful memory. To give context, in 2005 we had a total of ten children who were ages 9 to 19 and holidays were awful back then. All kinds of memories and trauma triggers for the children made them act worse than ever on holidays. And yet, the kids held it together when a mentally ill man from our congregation invited himself over for Thanksgiving. For that holiday, Dave was family.
I’m not even saying you have to seek it and try to find others to be part of your family— but what if you invited God to enlarge your family in whatever ways He saw fit? What if we were all open, every day, to redefining who family is and sharing ourselves with lots of people?
I’ll share one more thing — and sorry that this is all about my family today, but it’s one thing I’m pretty proud of in the way that we have raised our kids — the fact that they understand that our family can be family to anyone who needs one.
As you know, Im participating in Open Table, and the woman we are mentoring was looking for a church. I talked to my kids about her joining us for Sunday dinner and lunch, a time which has become pretty sacred for us — the one meal we try to always eat out together. I said, “I was wondering if you would be OK with us sharing our family with a person who has nobody.
My daughter, who came to us at the age of six, was sitting with her husband and three of the most adorable children in America. She said, 'Of course. You’ve been sharing us with other people all our lives.” Now she is willing to share her family with others as well.
Let God enlarge your definition of family. Be open to him enlarging your family in creative ways. Believe me it is a rich and deeply satisfying way to live.