Some people proudly show photographs of their family. Some people wear T-shirts with the names of their children and grandchildren on them. Some people aren’t ever seen without their spouse by their side.
I write about my family.
It doesn’t matter who the author is attached to the above comment, but it greeted me this past week shortly after my story about a high school ring being found and returned. The words stopped me in my tracks, because in more than 25 years writing columns for various newspapers, it had never occurred to me not to write about my family. In fact, I had often warned them that they could easily be fodder for my writing.
And this may come as a surprise to the author of that comment, but the Christmas angel in my last column was actually my daughter, and I’m pretty proud of what she did to get that young lady her high school ring back. I could have mentioned that in the original story, but why? What she did is what’s important, not her relationship to me.
It’s true that I’ve told a lot of stories about my family — from my wife to our children and their children. Nobody has been left out. And a lot of people know my family. So when they stop us in the aisle of Walmart or come past our table at a restaurant and say “I enjoy keeping up with the family through that column” or “I liked the story about your granddaughter,” well, I take that to heart.
There are many things that go on in the world that are “outside of my life.” But no matter what I may be involved in, my family is almost always a part of it.
That’s not the way it’s always been, though.
For many years, I rambled around this country, spending two or three years in one spot before moving on. My family had become scattered from New York to Ohio to Texas, so when there were experiences to be had, I usually had them alone.
But now, with roots put down in North Carolina the last few years, and being part of a family that is closer than a fly stuck to flypaper, well, the experiences are shared. And let me tell you, every one of those experiences is sweeter together than it would have been alone.
Sally Field — you know, “The Flying Nun” — tells us in a commercial that “you only have this one life.” She’s right, and more importantly, your life is a journey you shouldn’t take without your family. If you do, that journey will be far less fulfilling.
With that in mind ...
Last Sunday, Kingdom Place hosted The Talley Trio, and the place was packed with those wanting to hear this absolutely wonderful southern gospel group.
Our 3-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee, actually wanted to stay with us and hear the music rather than attend children’s church, so she joined us in the regular service.
The Talleys performed a few songs and we all got into the message and ministry of their music. Kaylee spent much of the time clapping her hands and, when the Talleys raised their hands to the Lord, so did she.
When the time came for an intermission, of sorts, the Talleys stepped back and allowed Pastor Gary Strickland take center stage. And as he got started with the morning’s sermon, his voice thundering over the loudspeakers, Kaylee waited until he took a breath and said for all around us to hear: “Is he God?”
There were a few chuckles nearby, and quite a few more smiles in our direction. But an answer was slow to come.
Who are we to tell her no? It’d be like telling her the guy in the mall isn’t Santa. The important thing isn’t so much believing who He is, but believing His message.
So for now, Pastor Strickland is God — at least in Kaylee’s eyes. Which, considering the messages he shares every week, that’s not a bad thing.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 272-6148 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.