Once there were two brothers, who were the bookends of a quartet of loving siblings.  A family who socialized together, relied upon each other, loved each other's children, and cherished their parents.  This history of care and regard for each other is etched upon the memories of the next generation.  There are photos which seem to testify to this peaceful and harmonious time for the family.

 At some point along the way a storm began brewing.  A storm which picked up  intensity and ultimately broke apart the nucleus of the family.  All that had been was no more.  The brothers never spoke again.  Their family never returned to those idyllic days of peace.  The cherished mother and father were left in a swirling dust cloud when the fracas finally settled.  Parents left wondering what had happened to all they had built.  The father  passed away knowing his two sons were at great odds. The siblings were left trying to bridge the gap.

Eventually after a few years of hurt feelings, lack of communication, and a family split apart, one of the brothers died.  There never was  resolution, no redemption, not even an explanation.  No apologies were uttered and no goodbyes said in those final days.  What was left was a shattered family filled with unanswered questions and hurt feelings while processing deep grief.  The questions have never been answered to exactly what went wrong.  What was so terrible that it would cause this huge abyss between two brothers?  We have a glimmer of what might have happened, but there is no one who knows for certain.  All the first hand parties are long gone.  The one thing we know for a fact was a family was forever altered and left to wonder what could have been so important that it was never resolved?  The family was permanently altered. Perhaps, you say, leave it in the past.  Though it is a part of the past, there is no way to recapture those lost memories of what could have been.  This is the story of my paternal family. 

The word for today is

My dear friend submitted this word and probably knew it would cause me to dig deep and think.  I must admit tears have come with processing the impact of estrangement in my own life and how God has worked to help redeem what seemed unredeemable.

My family of origin was not the only time in my life I have experienced the consequences of estrangement.  Each time I have been left with ripples throughout my very being that have permanently altered my vision of family and relationships.  It has taken time, putting aside hurt feelings, and understanding the lasting consequences of estrangement to work toward the redemption of broken relationships.  There is so much more than the break between two parties when there is an estrangement.  Until I learned to look beyond myself to those who are caught in the fray, I could not see the importance of the repair of the brokenness.  Only when I resolved my own family would not suffer the estrangement consequences I felt in my father's family was I able to do my part in restoring some sense of unity.  What could be more important for my loved ones than having some sense of family--even if it is a present day hybrid of family--it still is family.  I am resolved that my children and grands will know all the love possible and a sense of unity within family.

The one vitally important thing I hope you will take to heart in this musing is the importance of reconciliation and redemption of broken relationships.  Be the bigger person and step forward to admit your part in any disagreement.  Work to find common ground and establish what is truly important.  Leave your pride behind and bury those hurt feelings.  Do NOT wait until it is too late.  Mend those fences, tie up those loose ends, and learn to say I am sorry.  PLEASE consider the consequences before tearing apart something as important as a relationship.  I would never want anyone to suffer the lasting brokenness of unresolved estrangement.  We are REQUIRED to forgive.  Take that requirement seriously.

I leave you with this.  Reread the story of the prodigal son and change the ending to the prodigal never returning, the brother staying angry, and the father dying with a broken heart over the fate of his family.  Which ending would you prefer for your family, your friends, or any relationship whom you hold dear?  Is it worth the price of swallowing your pride to bring back peace and some sense of wholeness?  How can you help to resolve and redeem those estrangements in your life?  How could you possibly be estranged from any of your fellow man and not also be estranged from God?  This is heavy stuff!

"They are darkened in their understanding,

alienated from the life of God

because of the ignorance that is in them,

due to their hardness of heart."

Ephesians 4:18


  1. Your reflection here is so deep, Lulu, and sadly true for many families. May we resolve not to let differences tear us apart as families and let us nurture the ties that bind.

  2. We live in a broken world & until we learn to be obedient there will be no peace.
    Blessings, Martha!


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!