On yesterday, I had the opportunity of driving to Buford, Georgia to see four of my aunts, two uncles, six of my sixteen first cousins, and two second-cousins. My mother is one of eight daughters born to my grandparents. My grandmother was an extremely talented and gifted seamstress who also played the piano and organ in church, and my grandfather was an old-fashioned ordained Baptist minister who served God in churches both in Alabama and Georgia. My mother is number five in birth order, and I am number four amongst the grandchildren. Blessed and fortunate, all the sisters are still living today; ages eighty-two down to their sixties. With such a large family, the aunts and first cousins alone are stretched out from Georgia, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, New York, California, to the Philippines. I can’t begin to include the whereabouts or even the names of all the second and third cousins! Nonetheless, with modern-day technology, we all gathered in one room to have a video-call with the families living in Texas and California. There we were all trying to either take turns in front of the computer screen or talk on IPhones; a real twenty-first century family! As several of us gathered in the dining room to eat a very well-prepared and tasty meal, we engaged in plenty of lively conversation and laughing. Lots of stories; plenty of good memories. However, as my first cousin, Glenn, now in his early fifties (he’ll kill me! ha!) was talking, I suddenly realized that he looked just like our grandfather! My grandfather died when I was only six-years-old, so I didn’t know him very well. But, my grandmother kept a portrait of him hanging above her bed until she died at the age of ninety-eight. I noticed that each time Glenn would tilt his head a certain way he looked just like the man in the portrait. It was uncanny. Even my husband noticed the strong resemblance. For a brief moment, it was as if the man in the portrait, my grandfather, was seated at the table with us; alive, laughing, and talking. Watching Glenn made me think about my own grandson, Matthew, and how he looks like his Papa; my husband. But, the fact is that when we are younger, we don’t like being told or reminded that we look like “so and so.” We want to be our own individual selves with our own unique appearance. We don’t like being “pinched” on the cheek and told, “Oh, my you look just like your Aunt….” However, as we grow older, it somehow becomes a source of comfort when we are told that we look like our parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. Family. Our family. We resemble our family; we are connected. It is also interesting to see how we not only take on looks and appearances, but we tend to take on similar ways, characteristics, and mannerisms within the family. Take yesterday, five of us were dressed in white capris with similar color tops. ..Chance or DNA!! I know two summers ago, my adult twin daughters and their children came over to my house to go swimming. Each daughter was excited about the new bathing suit they had recently purchased at the mall. One twin changed in the upstairs bathroom while the other twin changed downstairs. When both girls walked out on the sundeck….you guessed it! They had on the same bathing suits; even though they had purchased them at different stores, at different times! Of course, people would say it was a “twin thing.” And, I believe that is true, because they do possess similar tastes in clothing and other items in life. But, what about aunts and cousins? Do we also possess enough DNA to conduct ourselves in similar manners? Take my cousin, Glenn. His physical appearance reminded me so much of my grandfather that I wondered if the two of them also had other qualities that were similar? I know Glenn is very caring and protective of his daughter, Katie. And, I believe my grandfather was very caring and protective of his daughters, as well. A nice commonality. I believe the same thing holds true in our Spiritual lives. As young, possibly new-born, Christians, we don’t always look nor act like our Heavenly Father, but as we grow older and more mature we begin to take own more of our Father’s characteristics and actions. As we mature in Christ Jesus, people can see more of our Heavenly Father’s love and mercy in us. Family resemblance. Family connection. I’m very glad that I got to spend time on yesterday with my extended family. I hope I can do it again. It’s actually nice to gather as a family somewhere other than a funeral parlor! Today, you might ponder upon similarities, characteristics, both physical and emotional, that you have in common with a family member; whether it be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins. As you do, you can enjoy the feeling of knowing that you are “connected” to a family. You can also reflect upon being “connected” to the family of God. Even though presently we (as a body of Believers) may not look so much alike, or even act so much alike, as we get older and more mature in God’s “family,” we will take on the resemblance of our Heavenly Father; hopefully more and more. And, one really good thing about our future “reunion” in Heaven with the “family” is….. we won’t need IPhones or Web Cameras to communicate and to “connect.” We’ll all be there together; in person…at one time. And, because of our relationship in the Father, we will all know one another by “name!” Amen!
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author