Signs of Life

We have heard of your wondrous power...the ways in which you make newness...the ways in which you defeat death...the ways in which you give life. 

-Walter Brueggemann Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth

I experienced something new and good last weekend. I have lived with a broken, estranged relationship with my sister Darlene for more than 20 years. I feel sad and embarrassed acknowleding those years. But I also realize how very easy it to accept, even justify, the distance we grow comfortable with in relationships. And a month becomes a year...becomes 20 years.

After spending the weekend with Darlene I see the wreckage and wasted years that result from a broken family system. Patterns of relating to one another were developed that deeply affected all our lives. Lies were embedded and believed that have lingered for years. As we talked through the last 20 years I was struck that my memories of the past were sometimes very different than Darlene's. My perspective had been filtered through my memories of the past. For the first time I listened to the story through Darlene's eyes.  For almost 20 years I believed Darlene was angry at me...didn't desire a relationship with me. I now see that wasn't the case at all. But on a certain level it was easier living with the distance - didn't require anything from me. There was nothing I could do.

Darlene has lived a difficult and painful life. I was glad and grateful to see her making sense of her story. At peace with herself. Living in community with friends who love her deeply. And I sensed throughout the weekend how healing it was - for Darlene and for me - that she felt accepted and loved by her older brother.

Gary and Darlene 2009 

Something new and good happened last weekend. Signs of life. I don't know what the future holds but it was a good start. You too may have relationships in your life where distance has become pretty comfortable. The Gospel invites us to something very different. Something new. Something good. Life!

Fighting for your hearts,

Gary Franklin