Words of Hope: Family of God

I drove by a snowy park bench near the Spokane River yesterday. The last time I drove by this bench, Dad, Shann, Bella, and I sat there praying together on a summer evening. After we prayed, we watched a group of men dragging rafts out of the water. After they had secured their rafts, they joined together in a circle. Dad walked over and listened politely on the edge of the group. They invited him in, and he learned this was a recovering addiction group that meets to raft the river and pray together. We watched as Dad joined in and prayed for a few minutes with the men. They were very gracious to him. They seemed touched by his interruption. Maybe because he was older, or because he was patient and gentle, or perhaps just because he had that look of someone not long for this world. I don’t know why they let him join in or pray. I felt thankful for their intuition to include him. He spoke to the leader for a few minutes, hugged him, and we drove home.

When Christianity first used the terminology of brothers and sisters in Christ, it was revolutionary. No one thought this way before. People were family by blood or by race. It was unheard of to call someone from another race your brother or sister. I love this aspect of the Christian community, this large, beautiful, challenging, incredible family of God.
The news gives us plenty of reason to eye people with suspicion. The church even gives us reason to doubt pastors. It’s good to be very vigilant. But it is also good to deeply love, connect heart to heart, and live as brothers and sisters of Christ.

I am going to close with the words of one of my favorite Christian singers growing up, Russ Taft.

He sang, these lyrics in the song, “We will Stand.”

“You’re my brother, you’re my sister
So take me by the hand
Together we will work until He comes
There’s no foe that can defeat us
When we’re walking side by side
As long as there is love we will stand.”