“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”  Ephesians 3:14

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago.

I was touring a big old southern house which was up for sale.  As the agent was showing us around, I noticed a picture placed low on the wall by a window.  I looked closer and saw a large extended African-American family posing together and printed on the bottom edge of the photo were the words, “Milner Family”.  I was astonished; this was my family name and I said as much to the agent.  She said that the photo belonged to the family who owned the house.  

I woke up – in more ways than one.

I jumped out of bed and went to the computer to search my family name. I found a number of prominent African-Americans with the same name, as well as genealogical conversations focusing on our family line.  I was astounded.  My understanding of our family expanded in leaps.

A week or so later I found myself at the funeral for a local 20 year-old man murdered in the street two blocks from our home.  I did not know the family, but wanted to be present to support them and my husband, who was leading the service.  As I sat in the midst of that grieving assembly, I asked the Lord,  “What can be done?”, “What do You want to do here?”  The reply was clear, “Love.” 


Love is always the answer.  Every disease of our society is merely a symptom of our lack of love for God and others. Drugs, poverty, hatred, war, violence, greed, pride… the antidote is love.  Jesus embodied God’s never-failing love on the cross for all to see. There all of our sin and death itself was conquered.

Perhaps the lesson of my dream was not that my family is bigger than I realized, but that God’s family is my family.  That God loved the world so much  He sent His Son to save it and maybe we should do the same.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace...” Ephesians 2:14-15
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