I’m the ‘baby’ of the fam.. what that means is you often feel “special” when your grow up… and even when your don’t feel special- you feel special because your have a lot of favor.. with everyone in the fam, actually. Special relationships have always been like really important to me. Growing up, I would try to make every feel special… even the little friends I had who were easily hurt by words because they didn’t look like everyone else, or smell like everyone else, or have a family like everyone else.
They would be the “little people” I found time to be kind to. Because I knew they didn’t have what I had, in terms of resources. I was really compassionate at a young age. I didn’t understand how people who had so many needs could treat people so unkind. And so, whenever I could, I would try to smile or talk to them and just be a kind face and notice them. My mother taught me the importance of kindness. She was a teacher, and would take me to school sometimes with her and she’s show me how to treat the kids kindly- because some of them had special needs. I learned how to be considerate of others, very young. My mother didn’t know- or perhaps she did- I was a “social worker in the making.”
Well, …family comes in here- because several of my siblings are compassionate. When I was little my big brothers and sister were ‘everything’ to me. This ‘specialness’ I found came with certain privileges- and because of the privilege- I always was wanted to be around them, up under them, would try to sleep in my brothers rooms often and my sisters , too…at times. Some would call it spoiled, other would call it ‘well-loved’.. and whatever it was , i’m learning today- was ok. It didn’t ruin me. This kind treatment showed me how to love on folk. And that was just plain ole’ goodness.
I remember most of this goodness as being special memories with my family- how as a family we’d go on long car rides to the country ; and go to cabins in the woods for the weekends; trip rides to LaGrange, GA each summer; and do things together as a family… just because …that was family to us. I just loved being with my family and having adventures. Once my dad drove from New York to Georgia to California! (And it was the trip of a lifetime!)
Family is so important to me. It never occurred to me that one day I wouldn’t have my own bio-children… grateful for those who have become family, for me and those I do have, yet very, very surprised. My womb did not naturally produce my own children. There’s a scripture in the Bible that says: “more are the children of the desolate one-she will have many more children.”Galatians 4:7
Well…I searched the word ‘desolate’ & it led me (through the back door) to the word agape’ – Agape means a God-kind of love. in the purest sense of the word it means the highest kind of love you can give humans. I had to pause here, because it made me think less about what I didn’t have and how children were never born from my womb- yet how because of what I couldn’t have – a greater love was borne for those who needed it and crossed my paths when they did. Crazy . Inasmuch as I would have loved to have children, the blessing of not having children has made me more spacious for welcoming and cherishing and inviting more ‘children ‘ in – more space to love on and be warm and kind to those who come across my path to nurture more fully.
Agape love is a love that’s redemptive; lasting and eternal. It’s more than enough.
This is my family.