One of the blogs I read asked for submissions about family last week. That was okay, though at first I was worried that we’d get perfect family stories. Didn’t turn out that way. There was more about black sheep and so forth. Well, we all did come from our respective gene pools in any case, both good and bad.
Then they got into how family meal times were conducted. One response had me laughing as he described joining his wife’s large family where everyone talked at once. Bingo! That was my family (of birth) as well. Of course dinners at my in-laws were usually quiet affairs where papa would start the conversation and only one person spoke at a time. And I can recall a lot of dinners with my best friend’s family, that is her husband and kids where we were all sitting around with our tv trays, or plates of food on our laps. So I guess I have experienced a wide range of dining styles.
Her oldest has just announced her second pregnancy, so that kind of brings things full circle. I recently enjoyed getting to know her 5 year old. Now her family will be expanding in a few months. New life is always a sign of hope for the future. Anyway, I feel a little bit proprietary about them because they were my second family during many single years. I would, on holidays, do the obligatory things with my siblings and spend the rest of the day with my friend, her husband and kids, at least when they were small.
Now I must admit, my siblings and I were not angels, and we have a few issues with one another. Fortunately, God has provided much healing on that score for me. We get along much better living in our own houses, towns, etc. and seeing each other on rare occasions. That might not be for everyone, but I think it’s a fairly natural progression, particularly if you live in different states.
But the reason I thought I should post something is because of a book I have been reading on generational healing. I have some familiarity with inner healing, where God brings some hurtful memory to mind and brings healing so it is no longer so full of hurt. It was kind of mind blowing to read how God can extend that process back in time to events you likely had no knowledge of, and bring healing in some way to your forbears, that is often immediately evident in the present generation. I had already understood that God experiences time differently than we do, but had never thought of it in these terms. Some of our besetting sins are rooted in the sins of our fathers or mothers,as the case may be. By asking God to show us the root problem, we can then pray for forgiveness or offer forgiveness as if we were there with some distant relative and the healing closes the door to attack that the original offense opened. Sorry if this makes no sense, I’m still trying to process the idea myself. It’s not quite what I expected when I got this book.
Being a protestant, praying for the dead is way out of my comfort zone. However, in this context, it actually makes sense. So if you feel led to pray about something in your family’s past, go ahead and see where God takes you. You may be bringing healing in the present generation.