A Family of Strangers

I knelt in front of the pew hands clasped together resting on the prayer stand before me, head bowed, eyes closed. Tourists in the background chattering in their many languages. I felt a stir behind me, and then next me, I felt him kneel down beside me, and I was aware of him assuming the same position as me and so many around me.


I opened my eyes and looked up at the alter, I made my final plea, and I recited the Lord’s Prayer. It seemed an appropriate thing to do in a building of such heritage, that has stood for so many years, and seen so many people of faith, and of none, walk its floors; so many people, with such religious authority stand before the alter. I finished and made the sign of the cross on my body – head, chest, shoulder to shoulder. My brief spell in Catholic school had taught me well.


I glanced over to the left, where I had felt that man kneel beside me. I looked at his hands first, old and worn, his skin dark and full of wrinkles, I looked at his clothes, humble and nondescript. My eyes traveled upward to his face, I saw his eyes tightly shut and his brow furrowed with creases so deep. Great desperation and intent were written across his face. I witnessed the tears roll down his cheeks, his shoulders slightly shaking. He sensed my movement and glanced up and me, his old eyes met my young ones and I wondered what they must have witnessed in his many years of life, his gaze lowered once more and his lips started forming soundless words. My heart melted.


I inched my knees closer to him and my hand met his, he grasped it and squeezed it. In that place together, we prayed, him knowing what for, and me just praying sensing his burden.


There in that moment we met, old and young, cultures a world apart, strangers, yet family in Christ. I saw how big and how strong this family is that I am a part of, how real it is, and how no matter what separates us, and how unknown we are to each other, still we are family, and still in those moments our hearts can beat as one. And together, as brother and sister we sit at the feet of our dad and tell him and show him what’s going on in our hearts, and together we feel his embrace.


Strangers yet family.


Five Minute Friday: Together


It’s Friday! Round here we like to write for just five minutes on a friday. No over-thinking, no backtracking, no editing. Just the freedom to write, for five minutes. Then we link up to Gypsy Mama’s blog and read others peoples posts. Why don’t you join us?


This week’s topic is: Together
… Are you ready?




Together seems like an unattainable ideal to me, at least in my life. I see others around me in their togetherness and I find myself envious. Friends – together, Colleagues – together, Families – together. All of them in their various forms are together, talking, working, eating, living, creating memories; together. How I wish I was a part of that.
Yet for me, for more of my life than not, my life has been marked by distance, and by un-togetherness. A family spread across three continents spanning 10’s of thousands of miles, friends in every corner of the globe, colleagues so far scattered it’s hard to comprehend how we manage to do anything worthwhile. I long for “together”, to know the warmth of a relatives arm around me, to hear the voice of a loved friend and have their shoulder to rest my tear-streaked face on, to sit down over coffee and discuss project ideas and read the face of colleagues not just hear their well thought-out, edited, reactions. Oh, how my heart longs for that. And the sweet moments when together does happen, oh how I treasure it. Those sweet moments, and those special memories made. I guess I can thank my un-together life for teaching me never to take together for granted, but to cherish each second of it.


Together is more, however, than just a physical reality. Together can be spiritual and emotional too, and that togetherness is what keeps us close. I may have lived most of my life with family and friends spread as far as possible, physically we may well be very un-together, but that matters little, for spiritually we hold each other, emotionally we stand shoulder to shoulder. We walk this life together, through prayer, through conversation across the miles, through the short physical togethers that we have. Together in our un-togetherness, we do life. And I know I could not live this life alone, but only together, with others.




I look forward to hearing what you have to say on together, or un-together.