My sister Charity recommended that my family follow “humansofny” on Instagram a while back. Although they post too much (I can’t keep up with stuff like that), the ones I have seen are so interesting. I love things that take you into the mind of someone else, and that put you in their shoes even for a moment in time.
It inspires me.
But a recent one made me kind of sad:
Now, of course I don’t know anything more than this snippet about this man. Maybe he was having a bad day. Or maybe he comes from a dysfunctional family. Maybe he has trouble with bonding. Or maybe he just got in a fight with his mom. I don’t know. But my heart aches for him because for whatever reason, he doesn’t realize the glory of family life.
Maybe he’s never had the opportunity to stroke a newborn baby’s head and drink in their intoxicatingly sweet smell. He may have never had a child look up into his eyes and say “I love you.” Maybe he’s never sacrificed something for a family member in need and felt the love that can’t help but well up and overflow because of he’s been given the chance to really serve them.
But for whatever reason, this post made me overflow with gratitude that I have.
And I try not to take that for granted. I know there are so many broken families out there. I know there are so many who suffer and ache and who are lonely. But we all have people we share the same name with that we could reach out to more.
Maybe they need to be forgiven.
Maybe they need a hug today.
Maybe they need an out-of-the-blue phone call.
Or maybe they just need some unconditional love.
Some families need to leave a past of abuse and heart-ache and be strong enough to start over emotionally. Which I know is easy for me to say because I haven’t had to do that, but I ache for those who do. Many have written me heart-wrenching emails from this blog and I think of them often. I send prayers up to Heaven that they can work things out. Because I just know families are worth fighting for.
I disagree with this man because I believe there’s oh so much more than a practical reason to stay together. Sure it’s tough sometimes. Sure we disagree. We may wonder sometimes how in the world we could share the same genes. Sometimes being in a family takes work. But it’s worth it. Because families are what’s going to keep us going in the long-run. The family is the building block of society. If the family fails, society fails.
And I believe that with all my heart.
For a myriad of unrelated reasons we found ourselves out to dinner last night (that’s an extremely rare happening for us). I was late because of a church meeting I had to attend, but as I walked up to that little booth crammed with people I love my heart spilled over with gratitude that we are a family. That my parents made family a priority. That their parents did too. And that my great, great grandparents made sacrifices so that we could be there in that spot at that moment laughing at Lucy’s antics, telling each other about our “happies” and “sads” from the day, and feeling the love we share.
It’s far from a perfect family we have here, but I don’t want to ever take this gift for granted.
And I want to work my heart out to make it strong and united, and help any other families I can along the way.
I sure hope this guy finds that happiness and joy family brings some day.