A few years ago, a gas station attendant decided to speak recklessly to my mother. As though part of a choreographed dance, all of my siblings and I flew out of the minivan. (Those double doors came in handy.) My mom sat in the minivan, her hat on, while we handled everything.
I don’t remember what we said. I don’t even really remember what happened. The bill, once under dispute, was settled. And then we went to church.
This is what I thought of as I watched Luc Besson’s The Family. Robert DeNiro plays a former member of the Mafia who is in the Witness Protection Program. Obviously, everyone is hunting for him and his family. The film isn’t the greatest of its genre, but the love that the family members have for each other feels genuine, and ultimately is the film’s saving grace.
Close knit families are often threatened by outside sources. If you’re truly close, that struggle just makes you more of a team. If you aren’t, those challenges act like bombs against the foundation of your family.
My childhood memories are a slideshow of moments when my family protected each other. We defend and protect each other so much that I don’t even bother telling them when something has gone wrong. I once told my little brother that a guy I had dated yelled at me. My brother, who is well over 6 feet and not at all little, asked for a couple of minutes to cool down, then he asked me the question again.
“Are you sure he raised his voice at you?”
Not wanting to raise his ire, I told Stephen I handled it.
I understand the impulse for violence when protecting your family. It’s a strange knee jerk reaction I have when I realize that someone just disrespected a family member.
In those moments, I have to remember that I’m a Christian. I have to figure out how I can honor God, show love to my family, and put a disrespectful person in his/her place ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
It’s so hard. So, so very hard.
That’s why I have to stay prayed up, all the time.
Because you never know when someone will mess with your family.