Last week, Robanne and I celebrated our 35th anniversary. It was great! I surprised her by renting a beach house in southern California, right on the sand, and flying in our son, R.W., who lives in Wheaton, Illinois. We just spent the week together as a family. We didn’t do much – just played games, watched TV, walked on the beach – but what I really enjoyed about the week was something intangible. It was the experience of family.
In my family Dad is always the brunt of jokes. Every wrong statement or every funny experience or miscommunication somehow becomes a laughing matter. I like the fact that my family jokes about me and teases me. I also like that we show love through physical affection. Every now and then during the week, we all just stood up and had a great big family hug.
I find love in my family. I find acceptance. I find a place of sanctuary.
What a marvelous picture of what God wants for our ministry and for our lives – a place where accounts are held short, where love takes place, and moreover, where I feel that I can just be me. My encouragement to our mission family is that you take your family seriously. I was talking to someone this week who runs a camp, and she described herself as a “camp widow.” Her husband is always away on camp business.
If your ministry is in the way of your being a family, I would encourage you to reevaluate your priorities. Family ought to be a place where you experience connection. It is my prayer that our families and our mission family will be that.