"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?" (Job 38:4-5) "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever." (Psalm 104:5)
Lines in the sand
Mispocha is a Yiddish word referring to a large and inclusive family made up of those both related by blood and otherwise. It's so easy to adopt those outside your blood relations. You just do it. I have at least two other mothers. Three uncles I identify as such. Scores (a "score" is twenty) of grandparents and innumerable brothers and sisters. They've all come in time--ironically, after the dissolution of my original family by divorce--and when we interact through a local real-time network (as opposed to virtual), it's always encouraging and uplifting. You should try it sometime.
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
It's almost as if Jesus is saying the coveted and exclusive position of "disciple" is worth more than all that. Worth more than the familial bonds we all take for granted. Closer even than our own life to ourselves. Jesus should come first. Were we to then take this out of its context though and use it as an excuse to hate those we love, we are misunderstanding what He's saying.
In the same vein
"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven." (Matthew 23:8)
If we continue on in life and define it from our own experience up, we will miss what God wants to do, i.e. miss what He's looking to start and establish for this earth. The main point of God's story is He wants a family. He put us here and he used our parents to do so. Moving forward though, as we all have gray areas and voids within, it falls to our brothers and sisters (and mothers and fathers and uncles et. al.) to complement one another. I've had to work through legitimate (but not acceptable, if that makes sense) hatred for both parents as the fruit of the divorce grew and rotted on the vine threatening to sprout and grow in my life the same.
What color should the coat of arms be? I find it amazing how black and white lines are used in Heraldry to signify color. Black is "sable" and it's represented by a cross-hatching of lines. Blue (called azure) is horizontal black lines on white and red ("gules") is made of vertical. Green (vert) and purple (purpure) are alternately left and right diagonally with orange (called tenne) a left-to-right diagonal hashed with vertical. Pretty cool. By this same logic, it would follow that every single pair of corduroys I've ever owned, regardless of color, has been red.
"The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." (Psalm 16:5)
"A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation." (Psalm 68:5)
"Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters..." (Psalm 104:3)
Will the line be unbroken?
Here's the thing. God is not called "Father" for nothing. Out of all the name's with which He's revealed Himself to us (His children), He ever stands under the banner of "Our Father who art in Heaven." Jesus came to both rebirth our spirit that was dead and also reunite us by an unbreakable line, into His lineage. Our families, however comprised can and often tend to be murky and confusing and frustrating--at least beyond a certain point. I know I've felt my share of the depth of oppressive familial baggage. When you encounter the inward parts touched by whatever our families couldn't provide, God makes up the balance. He alone can clear up the murkiness and then build, line upon line that which we need to become whatever it is we are meant to represent in His family. All it takes is one straight line from which to, in simplicity, follow back to wholeness and healing.
"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." (Isaiah 28:10)