I have the privilege of being the pastor of a wonderful family. It's
a small family, with a mom and two teenage children, a high school daughter
and a junior high son. Sometimes I think the mom qualifies for sainthood!
"Intense" might be a good description for these three beautiful people's
relationship! Parents of teenagers tell this single, childless pastor that
"warm fuzzies" about love of family don't happen very often. Knowing this
family, I could well believe it.
As often as not, the two children squabble (occasionally loud and
long). Their house is not large; it's easy to get under each other's feet
and skin. Both would readily admit that their fondest wish is that the
other would take a long break from being a part of the family. But let me
tell you what happened on the eve of the state Cross-Country championship:
Our little town has a remarkably successful girls' cross-country team.
Mind you, this is the kind of town where no one has the luxury of playing
just one sport or being in one activity. Most of the girls on the team
also cheer during football season and have already begun the basketball
season. In fact, tomorrow night when they return from the championship,
they have a basketball scrimmage to play! The older sister of this family
is a vital member of this team.
Her younger brother is the artist and musician of the family. He does
his best athletically, but his talents lie elsewhere. This is occasionally
at the heart of some of the normal bickering that goes on in their home.
But when the boy was asked by his mother if he'd prefer to stay home from
12-hour trip to the championship, he was taken aback.
"But Mom!" he exclaimed, "I want to go! It might not be much fun,
but I've thought about it. I wouldn't like it much if she didn't come to
my football games... and this is the State Championship! How could I miss
it? She's my sister, isn't she?"
It had been a rough week for their mother... some things didn't go
just real well and she came home late and discouraged, expecting very
little in the way of a lift. This exchange gave her just the encouragement
she needed to remind her that the sometimes herculean effort to keep her
family together is worth it.
This young man and his mom and sister taught me an important lesson.
I hope I remember this story as other members of the human family and I
squabble and irritate one another.
When it all comes down to the end, they're my brothers and sisters,