Friday, December 7

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Expressing Gratitude: Civility and Human Rights
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:12

“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.”

One of my favorite sources of wisdom comes from Anne Lamott who said, “All truth is a paradox.” I now ponder the meaning of paradox as it pertains to Family. Surely Family is the laboratory where we are tested to grow in our capacity to love and be loved.

I grew up in the mid-twentieth century when I believed, as every girl I knew believed, that achieving marriage and children were the most important purposes of a woman’s life. Yes, life was simpler then and life choices for women were limited. Well, I lucked out on the marriage part where love abounded in the midst of differences. I have gratefully believed that meeting and marrying Jack was a “God-thing,” a term I use to explain those moments of grace when we receive what is most needed without even asking.

But becoming the mother I always dreamed was my life’s purpose eluded me. Our stumbling block of infertility was a private issue in those days. Each Mother’s Day was a poignant reminder of a hole in my life, a failure to achieve my life’s purpose.

What seemed to be a tragic circumstance at the time has become one of the cherished aspects of my life. Our decision to adopt, not just one, but eventually three babies, taught me about the blessing of diversity. It grew my understanding of Family beyond “blood-related.” It opened my heart to expand the circle of those I consider to be “Family” to include LGBTQ folks, and, beyond that, love that includes those who are marginalized, who seek a sense of belonging, an experience of unconditional love where they are accepted just the way they are.

Surely this above all is a God-thing—that we can love others because we are first loved.

Dear God, our Source of Love and Light, strengthen our faith to know when our hopes and dreams are not met that unexpected blessings can rise from letting go and relying upon your gracious loving presence to light the way. Thank you for always having our back, no matter what! Amen.

~Jean Hodges