I Corinthians 13:7A “Love bears all things”
A few years back, I purchased a zoo pass in order to take my grandchildren to the zoo without their parents. With the forecast favorable, I headed to the zoo with two toddlers, a double-wide stroller, an overflowing diaper bag, an entire week’s worth of snack and drink, sun-screen, and of course, two zoo passes – my personal zoo pass and their zoo pass. Finally securing a parking spot, we began our journey toward the ticket booth with all our zoo paraphernalia in tow. Arriving out of breath, I was greeted by a young, yet very ambitious, ticket taker. I handed him the two zoo passes, one with my name and the other with the names of the two boys and their parents. He immediately asked for I.D., so I pulled out my driver’s license to verify I was indeed the owner of the pass. Then, he looked down at the stroller where sat two very impatient little boys and asked for their I.D. Puzzled over the thought of toddler I.D., I asked him to repeat. Again, he asked to see the boys’ I.D. to verify they were indeed who the zoo pass indicated they were. I informed him they did not have any I.D. but if he looked at the passes, he could see my last name matched the last name on their pass, so there was proof they were my grandsons. And, besides, they were ages 2 and 4 and did not yet possess a valid driver’s license!
Refusing to back down, the ticket taker insisted if I wanted to visit the zoo, I needed I.D. for the boys as proof I wasn’t bringing in children who were not my grandsons. Exasperated with the whole I.D. situation, I took a deep breath and precisely informed him, “Look, I can assure you these two are indeed my grandsons. We are family and I love them. I don’t love anybody else’s children enough to bring them to the zoo!”
Without further words, he motioned us though the turnstile and into the zoo. That day, that young man learned you don’t mess with family love!
Family love trumps. Family love allows us to do difficult things, like the zoo, that we wouldn’t readily do for others. Family love means we can address difficult topics knowing we will unconditionally remain together and strong. Family love provides strength when we stand united against outside forces. Family love knows the worst yet seeks the best. Family love means life will be easier because of who stands beside us and with us. Family love faces crisis together. Family love means we can be honest with our feelings knowing there will be no judgement, only guidance and support. Family love remains even on those days we don’t like each other.
Christ made the perfect choice when he chose His Church to be family - a family of faith. And, just like our physical family, our church family stands together. We build each other up. We strengthen each other through difficult times. We love unconditionally. We sometimes know the worst yet seek the best. We face crisis together and do not flee. We do not judge, we guide and support. Church love trumps.
Father God, thank you for our physical family and our church family. Thank you for the love that fills both. Help us to view our church family with the unconditional love Christ had for us.
Blessings of church-family love,