Once upon a time, there were sitcoms: situational comedies. That was back before everything was offensive. You know, a few YEARS ago! Anyway, sitcoms could deal with awkward uncles.
I don’t know if kids are still growing up with a cultural understanding of the phenomenon of awkward uncles. They are not black sheeps. They are not always uncles. However, there are differences with people that cannot always be named that sometimes affect how we understand, or fail to understand, individuals, within the family or not. And I don’t think I’m alone in considering them in terms like awkward uncle.
Anyway, I wonder if one of you brave insightful souls could write about awkward uncles, with specifics or just generally, so that people within the church can remember that all those people in your congregation who just . . . socially don’t seem the same as you are still family! Your family!
I could write a diatribe on the cultural implications of children’s media emphasizing friendship over family. (If you start to look for it, you’ll shudder with horror.) In addition to that, there has been a de-emphasize on the larger-than-nuclear family that I think carries vocational damage throughout the world. Think of all the one-child families that have NO aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews . . . And, you want to know what single-parents should still have? Additional family support from grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and, of course, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!
We should learn how to treat all sorts of different people, and we should do it in a place where we remain connected to them apart from our own choices. That is, family and church. Society is splitting apart with foundations rattled. So, let’s relearn how aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, distant cousins, and all those “removed” are, in fact, God’s continuing blessing to us. Further, let’s do that regarding our biological family, our spiritual family, and, ahem, to our neighbors and communities at large!
It almost makes me wish I had more awkward uncles from whom I could learn to love, accept, and speak carefully.
I have all sorts of theories about ramifications of ignoring the branches of family. Some of them could be too easily misunderstood on something as random and scary as the internet. 🙂 But, you and me, let’s take the first step by saying a prayer of thanks for them. I’m pretty sure the step after that is simply praying for them.
Just a thought.
Write about it! Work it out further! 😉
Happy reading, writing, and related, folks!
PS. My website went down over the weekend. Sorry about that! If you had troubles, no, I have not decided to send you all to some seemingly Romanian reality tv website. Meanwhile, don’t miss my Friday post, which was delayed due to the troubles. It’s a review on My First Exorcism: What the Devil Taught a Lutheran Pastor about Counter-cultural Spirituality by Lutheran Rev. Dr. Harold Ristau, foreword by Lutheran Rev. Dr. John W. Kleinig.