Tuesday, 30 September 2008

My Real Family

I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for my bus home. It was taking ages to arrive. I knew there had to be a very good reason why there was this "delay" and I was curious to see how it would unfold.

A man asked me how to get to his destination and I advised him what bus routes he could use. He was lovely and had such a sweet smile. When his bus arrived and he went to sit upstairs, he waved at me and I waved back at him.

As I waited for my bus to arrive, I hummed the Abba song "I Have a Dream", whose video link a friend had posted at a forum earlier.

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
Ill cross the stream - I have a dream
I Have a Dream, lyrics
In between humming, I wondered about the delay. Maybe, I should just walk as it only takes about 15 minutes. I noticed an ambulance going up the road the bus I was waiting for usually comes down. Hmmm, I wonder if there's been an accident? Another bus, which usually travels down that road, stopped at the stop. I heard the driver telling a passenger the bus had been diverted. Aha, that answers my question! No point waiting for a bus that's not going to arrive, it's time to walk home.

As I walked home, I sang "I Have a Dream." At one main road, I was going to jaywalk but each time I tried to cross lots of cars appeared. What's going on? Anyone would think I'm being deliberately delayed or something. Finally, the roads cleared and I ran across. As I was approaching the underground station I noticed this man coming out of it. It was then it all made sense why I had been "delayed"; the Universe had been trying to arrange our meeting.

The previous day my mother received a telephone call from her niece who calls her from time to time to see how she is. After she'd finished speaking to her I said to her, "I was just thinking, mum, how you can be related to people and yet you don't feel very close to them at all. Take your niece, for example. I don't even know her or have any inclination to do so. I feel if you weren't here that would be the end of that connection. On the other hand, there are people I'm not blood related to who feel like my real family."

"I know what you mean," mum said. "I forgot to tell you when I went to the doctor's the other day I saw J, the Christian bus driver. He asked me why I was looking so miserable and I told him I had the flu. We were alone on the bus and he prayed for me."

"That's lovely! See what I mean about family? He's not blood related but he cared enough to pray for you."

The man who had just come out of the underground station was the bus driver who had prayed for my mother. I walked alongside him and said hello.

"Hi there," he smiled.

"I heard you prayed for my mother the other day. Thank you!"

"Was that your mama? I didn't realise she had someone close by looking after her. I was so concerned for her and thought she was all alone. I know what it feels like to have the flu and you feel so weak. It's good to have someone to look after you. I wanted to visit but I didn't know where she lived. I've been asking God about her and wondering how she is doing."

"Well, your prayer has been answered. I'm here to tell you she's feeling better. Thanks again!"

"I was happy to help as we're family. I've come to realise that we may all worship God through different ways but we're all share the same Father."

"We are all members of the one body, as Paul* puts it in the Bible," I said.

"Yes, the one Spirit."

I shared with my friend the conversation I had had with my mother about the difference between blood relation and spirit family.

"A lot of people see their family as blood relatives," he said. "Everything in the natural comes to an end but our real family in Spirit is forever. That's why when Jesus** was asked who his family was, he said those who are doing the will of the Father are his family ."

Before my brother and I parted company we exchanged hugs.

Later, I marvelled at how the Universe had conspired to arrange our journeys so that I got to connect with my Spirit brother, and he had his question answered.

"I believe in angels, something good in everything I see."

Thank you, Abba, for the timely reminder. Incidentally, "Abba" is the Aramaic word for Father.


* 1 Corinthians 12

** Matthew 12: 46-50

Related articles: The Real Me; What is Chaos?; Activating Love - Revisited; Halleluiah!; Love Conquers All; Love's Organising Principle; Living on Love; One Family, One Surname called Love; Is Blood Thicker than Water?; Love is Forever; What is Family?