I went to a reunion of sorts this weekend of my fraternal family. Our 100 year old grandmother died a while back so the gatherings had diminished. She had been the glue I suppose.
I’ve always liked visiting this gregarious crowd. My mother’s family was quiet with a rye sense of humor. My father’s were loud and animated. Arguments and stories flow like a rushing stream. There is a torrent of laughter and backslapping.
And then there are the seven sisters. As a child I adored these red headed, loving ladies. At puberty I began to rebel eventually lapsing into what would become that old bugaboo most folks call a “checkered past.”
Funny though, as I “ripped and ran” with wild abandon these sisters would periodically rise up in my mind’s eye. Gently they would reach out their arms to embrace the freckled child called “Scotty”. I always knew two things. They loved me and they loved God.
You see there were many times I went down a path head long into trouble. I could see it coming. Sometimes I could not stop myself so trouble came. Then there were the times when I could hear the verses of “Just As I Am” echoing as the sisters watched from underneath the shade trees.
Sometimes I could hear their voices … “ We love you, Scotty. Always remember, Honey, Jesus is watching. You don’t want to hurt Jesus’ feelings now do you?” As angry as I was, bottom line, I did not want to hurt Jesus’ feelings.
So I got to go with my family to see the aunts and uncles and cousins. My son is a cancer survivor. He went through a grueling year of chemo and is back in school. He wanted to go. He loves roots and history and the blood of his ancestors. I know he’s looking for the warriors that have guided him through his torture.
They were there, these aunts and uncles that have lived their lives as warriors for God.
They asked me to say the blessing and I was honored. As we bowed our heads I spoke the words that Father gave me. In them I could see the blood of life and I was grateful for the power and example that these fine people planted in me as a child. I was grateful for these copies of the Bible that saved a “wretch like me.”