These are “My People”

Growing up, I often heard the phrase, “My People,” especially when I was around people from the South. It was a term of endearment often used to describe relatives, as in, “These are my people.” Something I heard the other day caused me to ponder the phrase.

Who are my people?

Certainly my people are my relatives. We have five children, some with spouses and children of their own. I have one sister and many cousins. Many of them have spouses. I have a living uncle (and aunt) on my mom’s side and on my dad’s side. They are my people. Generations gone by are my people. Many of my relatives love(d) the Lord and share(d) that love with others. I have a godly heritage. II Timothy 3:14, 15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you have learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Growing up, I often celebrated weddings and birthdays and holidays with my people. Easter involved getting up early and dressing up for the Sunrise Service, the early service before Sunday School and church. Church was often followed by a family gathering that included a carry-in dinner, lots of pictures, and an Easter egg hunt. On holidays, I was typically surrounded by my people.

Glenn came from a very large family. Though we may see each other only a couple of times a year, his siblings, their spouses, their children and grandchildren are my people. He is a widower and when he married Sheila, her family became his family. Sheila’s mother, Helen, was a precious “other mother” for me and a wonderful grandmother for all of our children. They are all my people, too.

Friends are Good People
I have a small circle of close friends embedded within a larger circle of friends. They are my people. My “best friend” from elementary school is next to my good buddy I became acquainted with many years ago through my work at DCFS and they’re next to other friends that provide solid friendship and support. We are surrounded by others that I’ve gotten to know through my
church, my work, and my involvement in the community. They are sisters of the heart. (OK. I’ll admit it. There are some brothers in there, too!) Some people I speak to regularly; others not as often. These are friends that share faith and fun times and laughter as well as sadness and heartaches. During my journey with Cancer they’ve supported me with notes and calls and meals and gifts and, most of all, with their love and prayers. I love to spend time with them. Some of us nearly fall to the floor laughing when sharing “Remember Whens.” They’ve laughed with me, cried with me and they’ve held me up when I thought I couldn’t take another step. They are my people.

Our B&B Guests are Good People
We have welcomed thousands of people into our home during the past nine years. Some have been welcome guests, passing through Jacksonville only once. Others have become our people. We have many return guests. Chuck has stayed with us several times a year for the past five years. He’s “visited” a dozen times. We’ve shared major life events like his marriage, role changes, and my adventure with cancer. He’s become like a brother. Some guests have reported, “It’s like we’ve always known you.” We form strong bonds that stand the test of time. These are my people.

God’s People
When I think about my people, I can’t help but think about God’s people. Just as I spend time with my friends enjoying their company, I should enjoy spending time in fellowship with the Lord. Just as I lean on my friends I should rely on the Lord for my strength and my joy.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I am thankful that I have my people,

I am even more thankful that I am one of His people.

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