The Closeness of Family
A friend told me the other day that her daughter, who recently graduated from SMU, plans to stay in Dallas instead of moving back to Fort Worth. The distance between Fort Worth and Dallas seemed relatively small to me but clearly not to her.
As I listened to her talk, I heard two things. First, it sounded like most or all her extended family lives in Fort Worth. Keeping that in mind, Dallas probably does seem far by comparison. My family experience, for several generations, has been one of moving to new places. For us, having two relatives in the same city is the exception, not the norm. For my friend, proximity is familiar and comforting.
Second, I could hear her love for her family. As she thought and talked about her daughter, she touched her hand to her chest, to her heart, and she smiled. She talked about rethinking where she encourages her younger children to go to college so hopefully they won’t move so far away too. She wants to keep her family close, not just in relationships but also in geography.
I appreciate my friend’s deep affection for her family. Their relationships are special. They are sweet and supportive. Their proximity to one another means time together. It means shared experiences. It means memories made. These things are gifts.
We don’t all have our families of origin near to us geographically, so we lean on nearby friends, neighbors and church family to step into those roles. Many times in scripture we see examples of God working in the lives of family members, but also in the larger family of Christ. It’s a beautiful picture of how God designed us to live life together, much like we’re studying in Acts 2 on Sunday mornings. Whether your relatives are local or distant or even already in heaven, thanks be to God for the time, experiences and memories we all can share together as family. - Kathy Raines