Just as church was about to begin last Sunday, I noticed a face I hadn’t seen before.
This woman caught my attention. Not just because she was new. There was something about her that called to me.
As she went through the end of service greeting line, she was full of energy and excitement. Pastors like to see that after worship.
What she said was amazing to me. She explained that her great grandfather and mine are the same man.
She is kin.
We made a date to grab coffee and figure out the connections. I met her for the second time this morning. It turns out that she knows many more of the pieces of my family story than I do. But what she came to figure out was that my dad was “Mickey” and he officiated at her wedding, among other things.
We talked about “Macaulay” traits and quirks and about the ways she sees her mother in my face.
Wow. Living not two miles from my church is a woman whose story I share at a cellular and anecdotal level. The intersections of our lives is amazing, down to the nickname her husband uses to refer to her: “Bitsy”. I went by that name for forty years. It was a name given me by my father, he of the Macaulay penchant for words and expansively lived life.
We have much to catch up on, this new-found kin and I.
But for now, I am content to live in the wonder of a woman who found her way to the church I serve. In her presence I remember, name, and share the bones of heritage.
This world is wide. Kin, both biological and spiritual, arrive when we least expect them and perhaps most need them.
I’m feeling woven into the mystery of the Holy that shines from us each, lighting our way home.
please expand on the connection to me. and why do you claim only 40 years of bitsy?
Hello, dear Macaulay relatives!
Elizabeth, I am so moved to read your beautiful tribute to our connection as “new cousins”. I too have expressed excitement and joy in meeting you to my family. I also told them that I think you’re the most engaging pastor I’ve ever heard. Not surprising, or course, knowing you are descended from an array of fine Scottish ministers, including Mickey with his “expasively-lived life”..I am laughing at your saying that we connect “at the cellular level”, as well as “anecdotally”. Well, we all share that “hot: Celtic blood “, don’t you know.
It would be great to see or meet all of you in the not too distant future, .
Cousin Julie Murdoch Swanstrom Mellum
A wonderful story! The final line is especially to the point of how we might begin to learn how to let that light shine through us and invite everyone we encounter to the sense of kinship.
It’s all so wonderful, Bitsy. Fun to read about, as always. Marg Fawcett