Who raised you?
Exodus 20: 12 (NRSVA)
12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
“Who raised you?” You can imagine it being said incredulously, in mock accusation. Perhaps followed by: “Were you born in a barn?” And perhaps like Jesus you can reply “Yes,” to that second question. And that would lead to all sorts of other questions. But let’s return to the first question: Who raised you?
Not just officially, but unofficially. Who brought you to this point here and now? Who forms the network which makes you — you?
What gestures, expressions, mannerisms, habits and features do you bear and carry around in the world that come from the unique blend of your biology, your community, your environment, your story?
Apparently the phrase ‘You’re the spitting image of so and so’ comes from a linguistic compression of ‘spirit and image’. So more fully the phrase is: ‘You are the spirit and image of so and so.’ Wow. We can project the spirit and image of others through our spirit and image. Through our day to day life we can bring honour to the alloparents, all the different kinds of parents, who have shaped us and brought us this far.
Who are you the spirit and image of?
Spirit Maker, Image Maker
make us more sensitive
to the networks of grace that sustain us
through sorrow and joy
and weave dignity, beauty and honour in our lives.
Lent Legacy 2021 Action
Think about the ‘alloparents' in your life, the people who were not your parents but who helped raise you and shape who you are. If they are still alive and you are in touch with them consider writing them a note to say you are thinking of them.