We all sat down with our food at McDonald’s, appropriately in the Playland, where there was enough seating for all of us and where our cumulative maturity level demanded we sit. It was our final time together, after a weekend family reunion that pulled in aunts, uncles, and cousins from as far east as St. Paul, Minnesooouta and as far west as Redding, California.
I needed a straw, and even as I got up to grab it, I knew it was a mistake to leave my food alone with that crowd.
“Hey, where’s my biscuit!” I said, poking my uncle in the gut.
“Why would you blame me first?” he said. (Mass groans from the family of, Are you kidding?)
“Okay, where’s my biscuit!” I said, turning to my brother –who had ordered nothing but sat with a hot biscuit in front of him.
We ate breakfast and then stood in the parking lot for tearful goodbyes. I watched my uncle hug his other two nieces.
“I love you. You’re my favorite,” he said to one and then to the other and then to me. He may be the first blamed in a stolen biscuit incident, but I’ll give him credit for loving his nieces well.
Me a little more than the others.
Then the St. Paul aunt hugged me and said, “I love you. You give me a place to stand, because I know you’re as ditzy as me.”
Umm. I take that as a compliment (?)
And here’s the thing –if you’ve ever been to a family reunion, then you know that everyone is weird. It may come in varying degrees and different flavors, but I promise you there was not a normal personal in our whole house this weekend. A house that bulged with three generations.
“You give me a place to stand,” she said.
And I love that. My little bit of ditzy makes her feel like her little bit of ditzy isn’t so strange.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35 NIV)
Loving each other means giving each other a place to stand. It means I know you have your weird stuff, but I still love you. You know I have my quirky ways, but you still love me. We’re family.
And if you feel like you’re the weird one, well you can stand right by me.