I remember when I was in grade three and there was a sitcom that all of us little nine-year-olds watched. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the sitcom was, but I remember coming to school one day and everyone was singing the same line: “we are family ’cause mom won’t let us watch tv!” To this day, I am still oblivious to what the actual song is, but I will never forget that line and how we sang it over and over and over in the corridors. We probably drove our teachers moggy, but we thought it was hysterical every time we did it.
But I always wondered how not watching tv could make someone family. I mean, thousands of people – probably more – don’t have tvs, so would that mean they’re all related? In a primary-schooler’s mind, those are some heavy questions to deal with! What is family? I thought it was just my mommy, my daddy, my brother, and me… but after all these years, I think I finally figured out that one line from the sitcom.
I must add that I realise sitcoms shouldn’t really be analysed, but I have a warped mind that demands answers for everything. So here I am dissecting a sitcom. Just pretend I’m a character from one and it’ll be acceptable.
Anyway, my conclusion on that line is that family means commonality – none of them were allowed to watch tv. Deep, right? We recognise biological family as blood relations – sharing dna and genetics. We watch movies and documentaries about gangs who call themselves family – they share backgrounds, lives, and activities. There are families joined by nothing more than surname, and others joined simply by love. I, for instance, have claimed a passel of younger girls as my little sisters. I see us as family, but we’re really not related.
But there’s one family I belong to that’s just plain awesome! Its common name is the Family of God, or the Church Family. I prefer to refer to it as the weirdest family ever.
Its so rare to see radically different people hanging out together these days. People don’t like people who are different. To quote a very pertinent line from Disney’s Pocahontas, “They’re different from us, which means they can’t be trusted, now we sound the drums of war…” That line really sums up people today. But I’ve found a place where difference is pretty much what makes us such an awesome family. I mean, I rock up at church and there are old people and young people and pretty people and …well… less pretty people… There are athletes, and academics, and artists. There are teachers, and scholars, and beach-bums. Black, White, Indian… We’re there! And it’s great because although we’re so different, we, like any other family, have at least one commonality. Except our commonality is way cooler than any other and is a tie that can never break. Our commonality is Christ!
Today I ate a meal with an older man with a heart for preaching, a young Korean girl who wanted to study something nuts that I can’t remember the name of because it was far too academic, a crazy and very loud man with too much time for Twitter, and a woman who lectures an ancient language. And there were others. Let’s just say we were a motley crew… And after spending time with them, I went to meet a group of teenage girls… Each and every one of those people I can consider family – not because mom won’t let us watch tv, but because all of us are watching God. All of us have the same focus.
We are a weird family, but I feel so incredibly blessed to be part of it. Everyone in this family is welcome. Everyone in this family is needed and loved and accepted. I just wish more people would see the awesomeness of this family and choose to join it…