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There is a lot of talk these days about diversity, inclusivity, and love of others regardless of our differences. This may be new to our culture but certainly not to God.

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

There is nothing like personal experience to drive home a point.

My family as an adult has expanded well beyond the borders I once knew. I was divorced, remarried and am now a widow. My extended family includes a gay step-daughter and her partner, my son and his wife from Japan, a divorced daughter and her male friend, a sister who was once a nun married to a former priest, and a sister married to an Italian native and living in Italy, ‘adopted’ grandchildren whose biological grandparents have died, and at one time a Kurdish refugee family who referred to my husband and me as their American grandparents.

Each of these relationships has stretched me, matured me, and given me countless opportunities to learn and grow in my faith and in my ability to love and include people I once considered different from me. I learned to set aside personal feelings and prejudices that at one time I didn’t even know I had! But what a blessing each individual has been. In addition to my blood relatives I’ve also included in my family life young men and women from other countries such as Germany, Switzerland, and Spain who lived with my husband and me from time to time as foreign exchange students.

I now count my life rich in diversity, love, and opportunity as I share in the lives of so many of God’s people that I might never have known if it weren’t for this amazing mix.

How about you? Do you have a story to share? If so, please do.

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb …” (Revelation 7:9)

 

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Living in the Mix — 8 Comments

  1. My daughter and son- in- law are in the process of getting a divorce- this process has been heartbreaking for me. Their child has autism and we have all been working hard to help her speak and get integrated in school. It is very sad for me to see her have to face divorce and going to different houses. I am really struggling with knowing and feeling God’s care for us- I know the biblical promises but this seems too much for me. Yes, we must accept diversity of relationships but the break up of families is heartbreaking for me. Heartbroken in Canada, Angela B.

    • I can feel your heartbreak, Angela. It is never easy to see family members in pain and to experience their pain with them and yet be powerless to change or heal it. But I believe that God is good all the time, regardless of the circumstances. I support you in loving your daughter and son-in-law and their child through this trying time and trusting that the Lord will make all things new in his time.

  2. Dear Karen, I would say you have been “abundantly” blessed! I too, have been blessed with adversity since I was a ministers wife and exposed to a lot of different people and personalities. In my other work relationships I was blessed with differences in so many ways and ‘styles’! When situations “hit home” with situations that you have never thought would exist it makes a world of difference the way you ‘see things’ and your acceptance. Thanks for reminding me we much always leave room for compassion, forgiveness and acceptance! Blessings to you. Margaret

    • Thank you, Margaret, for sharing your experience with diversity. God loves us each and every one. I rest in that when I’m up against my own judgments.

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