Lava fields extended across the terrain and a steady tradewind blew. The photo above is on the road to Kekaha Kai State Park our location for a recent photo shoot J. Ronning Photography did for Pikai swimwear. A portion of the shoot featured the young models driving a landcruiser with surfboards and the whole group piled in the back.
It was the first models shot, a mother and daughter in bright bold colors that stood out. The warmth of natural affection shown as they posed with ease in the afternoon sun and causes me to smile even now. How do we love naturally when the landscape is often similar to those blackened fields?
Everyone would have you love them differently, so if loving well is people pleasing it will wear us out. Love naturally demonstrated has a mature and admirable quality like round apples that have weathered an entire hot summer and are now full, crisp, and juicy with ripeness. How do we love in such a way that is full, mature, and selfless?
Families are foundational to love. Jamie’s daughter Berit is being built up on her mom and dad’s love.
I was so blessed when Berit at Pinetrees was standing tall and singing loudly on a large rock of the awesomeness of God. Full of contentment with a day of beach play and real joy.
All our identity, who we are and how we relate to the world comes from how we’re grown. In Uganda, Africa I met and made remarkable friends who related like family so well. The way they acted like real brothers and sisters made me want to treat my friends at home better, yet some of them didn’t have stable families to produce this kind of practiced love and kindness. You know where I am going with this the way a screen writer delivers content your mind predicts. The foundation of the gospel is a foundation of family. The early church met in houses a location illustrating the welcome home of the Father. Hawaiians call it, Ohana. Whatever the name the same love defines all humanity.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)
And so we are, needs repeating like a song you can’t get enough on a long drive. You may not sense it or feel it because you haven’t know family, or the indifference you felt around church settings felt more like a cold classroom with all the social games of favorites and misfits. However it doesn’t change the truth, you and I have been given love, and so we are God’s children.
We often make the act of loving and growing a family culture hard. And in truth it is hard. Yet we are born into a family who loves. It is who we are. It is a gift we have been given. Regardless of blood family here or not. So next time you are around someone believe that young boy is your little brother, the young girl your little sister, the older man in the back of the room your older brother. The young mom with her hands full your sister. The young girl by herself in the hallway, family. The leader you look up to, an older brother or sister. Family is hard because of it’s close proximity relationships, it is caring for one another, helping out, cleaning up after, protecting, praying for, being patient with, working it out, celebrating each other, transporting younger members and visiting other members, eating together, watching them play sports, going to the doctor with, retirement parties and baby showers, weddings and funerals, giving when you can and receiving when you can’t, phone calls and FaceTime, and so much more. We are brothers and sisters who love, and so we are.