Black Sheep n. (informal): A member of a family or group who is regarded as a disgrace to them.
Today I woke up and for some reason I had on my mind the individuals who are looked at as the "black sheep" of their family. I want to encourage those individuals today. The individuals who are considered the black sheep of their family usually are the ones who you never really see around, they're considered "troubled", they are usually to themselves and they may have caused a little chaos within their family from time to time. Their family usually treats them in a "special" way which usually makes these individuals feel left out, un-trusted, and maybe even incompetent. The black sheep usually are the ones who make bold statements without saying much, and sometimes they are looked at as if they have brought some sort or amount of shame to their family.
Thinking of all the black sheeps of the family and the ones who maybe feel like they are I want to shed love and light on you. When I think of the individuals who are considered the black sheep I often think of the story in the bible about the prodigal son. I think about how he left his family, how he made his own choices and how in many ways he was an abuser of grace. I think about how even though he went his own way and fell on hard times God was still with him. I think about how his father never stopped awaiting his arrival for him to come back home to safety. I think about how even when he didn't have it together God still protected him from the result of death.
Family members can be hard on those who are black sheeps simply because they are worried and they care but it can come off as judgmental and critical. Very similar to the prodigal son's brother who was confused as to why when his brother returned home his dad gave him the finest of what he had and embraced him with love. Family members can often treat the black sheeps of the family as if they don't deserve to be accepted with open arms when they return back to safety, back to home simply because they are the ones who made the choice to make the decisions that they chose to make which led them to be in some ways the outcast of the family.
I don't even think that the black sheep of the family are always "troubled" as we make them out to be. I think that there are some individuals who feel like they are the black sheep in their family because they are often misunderstood by their family, or they don't have the support from their family that they need when they are making decisions for their life that makes THEM happy.
As members of a family we need to pay attention to our interactions and how we communicate with our loved ones and mainly how we make them feel. We sometimes get too comfortable with family and we can bring them down more than we bring them up with the way that we show we care. All families aren't perfect, we all have a little bit of dysfunction within our families but need to remember that God looks at us all like he looks at the prodigal son. We all have had moments where we have been far from home and when things get too rough we find our way back home and each time God is waiting with open arms. He's waiting with love and care. He's not reminding us of our faults, he's not telling us "I told you so". He's simply loving us and moving forward.
To my black sheeps out there remember God has his arms wide open for you. He loves every part of who you are, imperfections and all. He made you stand out for a purpose. Your life and journey is just as important. Your unique and peculiar ways may not make sense to those who you feel it should make the most sense to but that's okay because it makes sense to God. Keep seeking God, find your way. Even if you go too far remember there's a God who is waiting near for your return. He's will never leave you behind. He always goes to look for the 1 that's lost amongst the 99.
My prayer today is that every black sheep around the world rather they are lost or found knows that they are loved, they are cared for. I pray they know that their life has purpose and that there is a great plan in store for them. I pray that as members of a family or group that we show the love and care that God shows for the lost. I pray that we stand at the door with open arms and expectation of their return. I pray that we refrain from critical criticism, and judgment. I pray that we love on our loved ones lost or found just as Jesus did.
-Your Truly, Eb