Friendship in Houston

The blog is an overflow of my life. I spend all day thinking, writing, and talking about theology and Bible. So my blog is an ongoing discussion of such things.

For the past day and a half, the life of which this space is an overflow has been lived in Houston, TX. After the CBE Conference, I met up with the family at the house of good friends who moved here from San Francisco about a year ago.

So the theme of my life right now is friendship.

Never underestimate the power of friendship to breath fresh life into your own.

Yesterday as we wandered about the Houston Zoo and rode the little train around the park, Laura and I were left behind as the kids clung to “Mr. Richard.” Mr. Richard is older than either of our parents by about ten years, and he’s one of my kids’ favorite people in the world.

I said to Laura, “I’m thankful for grandparents.” She knew what I was talking about. Our kids have four amazing biological grandparents. And they have these other friends who play the part of “grown ups older than our parents who shower us with love.”

I always bristle at the term “fictive kinship,” a phrase that folks sometimes use to talk about communities where people use family language to speak of one another even though they are not related by biology or marriage.

I bristle because I believe that my identity in Christ is far from fictive, and that my relatedness to others in Christ is one of the truest things I can say about any relationship.

These are friends. And they are brother and sister. And they are father and mother. To me. To Laura. To our kids.

When we moved to San Francisco, we had no family within two time zones. And our house church community quickly became that for us: those with whom we celebrate and mourn, gather for holidays and gather by the hospital bed.

I am thankful for friendship. Real, genuine, “shut-up-we-both-know-better” and “if-you-need-someone-to-take-care-of-the-kids-so-that-that-you-can-take-that-invitation-to-go-to-Cambridge-you-drop-them-here” and “I-love-you” friendship.

This is [part of] our family.

5 thoughts on “Friendship in Houston”

  1. The blessing of the not-so-fictive kinship that we share is so wonderful. I love you guys and thank God often for bringing our families’ paths together in this way.

  2. As one of my dissertation-writing partners noted once when I used the term “fictive kinship” in my writing, that term is redundant. All kinship is fictive, whether we talk about relationships by blood or relationships by choice. In fact, aren’t they both a cultural choice we make? This is yet another time when fiction is more real than “fact,” when the insight of the gospel that we are bound together by God’s love resists the easy walls we build between us!

  3. When my mother died when I was 26, her best friends adopted me into their family. They loved me, attended my college graduation & later, Fuller Sem. graduation, too, included me(then us) in family holidays, checked out my husband-to-be, took wedding photos, mentored him in American business, invited me (then us) to holidays where we made their home a base, grand-parented our children (helped me give our newborn son his first bath), and when my father died, accompanied me to his funeral to ensure that I would not face vindictive relatives alone. They have been my family, far, far more than most of my biological relations.

    Family-in-Christ is wonderful. The wonder is multiplied when we can have brothers & sisters in Christ who also share biological ties. It’s terrific to to hear that Laura & you have that! May you offer that gift to others, too, when & if God leads, as we have tried to do out of the blessing we experienced from my truly family-in-Christ.

    1. Perhaps “fictive” just means Family-In-Christ-tive.” :) I’m stealing part of this blog to put as my FB status. Just loved it.

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