RDP Wednesday – FAMILY
late Middle English (sense 2 of the noun): from Latin familia ‘household servants, household, family,’ from famulus ‘servant.’
Yet another word whose origin was a surprise to me. Household servants, when Rome was at its best, were considered family; later, as more and more slaves were acquired, their status changed a bit and they were treated with less favor by some.
Of course, family today centers on the core group: Father, mother, children; all related by blood. But that’s not the ONLY way we think of family. Adoption has brought untold numbers of people into the nucleus of the original family, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Sometimes, friendships develop into family. That’s what happened to my family when I was barely three years old. People in the church my mom and dad began to attend invited them for Sunday dinner one day, and then again, and then for holiday gatherings, until I truly thought they were our blood relatives. It was such a shock to me to find out they weren’t!
But what a privilege it was to be taken into their family and treated with such love and acceptance. That family was part of the influence that took my dad to Bible college and then into ministry. They lived what they said they believed. They took in strangers and loved us, treated us as if we belonged with them.
Our shared times with our adopted grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins still colors my memories of wonderful times spent together. We were blessed–and they thought we were a blessing to them, too.
It doesn’t get any better than that.