Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Branches from the Family Tree

Branches from the Family Tree
by Judy Vandiver
© copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver

Last night I put up the Christmas tree in the living room. Today I put up a second one in my office. The one in the living room is pretty, but the one in my office holds special memories. No, it’s not a tree I’ve had in my home before and the ornaments are all borrowed. But what special ornaments they are.

You see, my mom let me use the photo ornaments this year. The clay ornaments, hand-made by my sister-in-law have pictures of family members from over the years. As I hung each ornament, I thought about the people in the photos and the special times we have shared. I call it “The Family Tree.”

What a delight to see old photos of my children when they were young. David and Melissa have grown up, but they’ll always be like the small children in the photos to me. I smiled at a picture of my “Uncle Boug,” and remembered how he always threatened to cut my ponytails off. Was that really over fifty years ago?

I prayed for each niece and nephew as I hung his or her ornament on the tall skinny tree. I thought of all the special Christmas celebrations with my siblings as I hung pictures of them and their spouses. I remembered the prayers of my grandparents as I tied their ornaments to the wobbly limbs. And I treasured the photos of Mom and Dad.

I’m glad I put this tree in my office and that I put it up early for “the season.” I’ll have longer to enjoy these smiling faces as I work each day in my office. As I type at my computer, it’s almost as if they are cheering me on. I know each one has prayed for me with my writing and will continue to do so. And isn’t that what families are about? Being there for each other, standing beside one another, praying for each one.

I thought about Jesus’ Family Tree. If there were picture ornaments on it, He might have hung a photo of Abraham, King David, Boaz, and even Rahab. Then a very dear friend and fellow writer, Barbara Oden, reminded me that He would have our pictures on there too, because we are His family. We share the same Heavenly Father. He’s my big brother. And each of you who have accepted Christ as your Savior are my brothers and sisters.

So, as I look at the ornaments on my tree and say a prayer for each one, I’ll ask God to bring my Christian family to my mind. As He does, I’ll also say a prayer for each of you.

“He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice.’" (Luke 8:21 NIV)

© copyright 2009 Judy Vandiver

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