Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Laughing and Crying

I laugh my hardest and loudest with my family
Sometimes we laugh till we cry
My daughter actually stops breathing when she laughs hard
My son knows how to make me laugh
The first thing I noticed about my husband was how funny he was
When my sister, my cousin and I get together, we roll with laughter
My brother in law has the best laugh
and when he laughs his whole body laughs
I love to laugh with my family, 
it glues us together

I cry my hardest and loudest for my family

Sometimes it feels like I could not possibly have any tears left
I cry for their broken dreams

I cry for their broken hearts
I cry when they are hurting physically and emotionally
I cry when our communication is severed
I cry when I am bruised by harsh words or misunderstanding
When I cry, it is because I love them all so much

There is nothing like family and all its dynamics to make me
either laugh out loud or cry in sorrow

I can not think of any other group of people that can make me as emotional
It is because I care
It is because I love
It is because it is how God continually teaches me
to think of others more than I think of myself

Unlike friends or co-workers or acquaintances
Family is forever
One can try and avoid them, "cut them off", stop thinking about them
But I would argue, for the Believer, it is impossible

God chose this family of mine, for me
On purpose
To laugh with
To cry over
As a blessing
A way to grow my faith
A path to teach me trust in my Lord and His ways
A place of refuge

There are no perfect families on this earth 
and there never have been
You can look through the whole Bible 
and find multiple examples of family dysfunction
But as dysfunctional as families are
there is no other group of people 
that can get to each others hearts faster than family

I believe I know the reason...
family is a concept created by God

In  the Bible, Genesis 4 we meet 
The first family
Adam, Eve and their sons Cain and Abel
The first family had dysfunction written all over it.
They had no one to blame, 
no family that taught them bad habits
All they had was the Creator God and each other.
From the beginning 
we see how each time they started to do things their own way
and stopped listening to God Almighty, 
things went sideways.
I imagine like any family they had their ups and downs. 
I imagine they laughed and cried together.
Did they celebrate birthdays? Anniversaries?
We know they experienced selfishness, jealousy, grief
We know they experienced death, separation, and an addition of siblings
They grew old
They had grandchildren
We know that through it all, they were still family

On the surface it could look rather depressing
but look again....
God was the constant thread in this dysfunctional family
He never changed
He was the perfect guide and parent
In verse 25 Eve recognizes that God was involved in her life when she said, 
"God has provided me another offspring..."

In all the ups and downs of this first family
the things I come away with is
It is through family that they recognized how big God was
and how much He loved and cared for them.

That fact still holds true
through all the laughing and crying that happens in my family
at the end of the day this I know
God is big
God loves my family more than I can
I imagine Him laughing with us
I imagine Him crying for us
Ultimately He watches over us

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