Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Right Context-by Linden Malki

Context is more important than we realize in living the life we are called to lead.  As we grow up, we build our working images of our world by what we live with. If we are surrounded by people who are selfish, mean, crabby, and/or abusive, this is what we think is "normal" and becomes the context of the relationships we build; if we are accustomed to kindness, consideration, ethics, and love, this is our "normal".  We can learn how to deal with behavior that doesn't "fit" our underlying context, but we have to recognize what’s going on, and pray hard for the wisdom and strength to be a force for the right things. .

I am finding myself being more and more thankful for the blessings of having known love and fun and niceness over the years. My dad used to say that “you don’t have to be crazy to be part of this family, but it helps!” My parents made a point of doing things together; Mom went camping because
Dad loved it; some years we went to the coast because Mom loved that; and I was lucky to have experiences of both.  Family, and friends, and church were a large part of things we did together as well.  And having good friends and good times is important; it gives us a shared history for connecting with people we don’t see every day, and those we do. One thing I find fascinating about family and friends I don’t see often is that we have different experiences of the same people and places, which makes for great conversations, and it’s amazing how we find things to share that we didn’t expect. My husband John had worked for the British Army in Palestine as a very young man, working with East Indians as well as the Brits; and one of my brothers had been in the US Army in India, working with the Brits as well as the East Indians, at pretty much the same time—it gave them a link beyond the family.

We are also blessed by living in a world created so that we can have adventures and good times, with God’s outside world, His people, and the special people that we call family. Couples who obviously like each other and enjoy being together are a good model for their own family, as well as an encouragement for those around them. After John’s death, I got an email from a young man who had worked for us some years earlier, and said that he had not only learned about fixing cars at our place, but also about God and family. Something like that is the most fun of all!

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