Submitted By: Kerry Bailey
Just recently, quite unexpectedly, my Dad passed away. It wasn’t as if it was incomprehensible – he was 92 and on oxygen for COPD – but there had been no real urgent concern. It actually happened in a way he probably couldn’t have scripted it any better: he went out for lunch with friends, drove home, sat in his easy chair, and passed on. Very quietly and peacefully.
Losing him made me reflect on my life, especially as it involved him. I can remember many times he’d come home from work tired from the day, but he’d change into old clothes to come outside and play ball or frisbee or whatever. I grew up in a great family! My brothers and I were envied by many of our friends. Mom and Dad were just about the best parents you could imagine!
But, even with all that said, there were still times I felt like I wasn’t part of my family – like I was a bit of an outcast and didn’t fit in. I’ve found from talking with a lot of others that I wasn’t alone in that feeling of occasional ‘outsidedness.’ It seems to be a universal part of family here on earth. But it isn’t that way in our Heavenly Father’s Family, at least not in relation to Him. Once we become part of His Family, He accepts us unconditionally! There is nowhere we can go that He is not there beside us, encouraging us always. He is the yultimate Dad in every good meaning of that designation!
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case with the rest of His family. We as Brothers and Sisters of His family all too often let each other down. This should not be! But it is. And God understands it better than we do – and I’m sure He weeps. I know some Christians felt more accepted at a bar before being part of His family than they do in church. This is a travesty, and is not the way the Church was designed or how it started. In the beginning, the Church was glad to just be together. Maybe we’ve become too complacent in our Christianity. Maybe we’ve brought too much of the world into the church. Let’s get back to the way the church should be: a real Family where we all accept one another and help each other to become more and more like our Lord. And never have that feeling of ‘outsidedness’ from that Family!