All it took was an innocent conversation last week, and I was suddenly enticed to renew my membership at Ancestry.com. It's been about two years since I decided I had discovered all the information about my ancestors that I really needed to know (probably more than I needed to know). And that decision was most likely a good one, because here I am once again spending far too much time digging and scratching for information.
The good news is that when I went back onto the website for the first time, there were a few messages waiting there for me. One was from a woman in New Jersey who, along with her sister, are the granddaughters of my grandfather's brother (apparently that makes them my 1st cousins 2x removed lol), and the other was from an older gentleman from Denver who apparently is my grandfather's long-lost brother's son. Both of them wanted to connect and compare notes. So we've spoken and emailed, and my sister & I are planning to get together with our new-found "cousins" from New Jersey sometime soon.
But the bad news is that I am once again officially addicted to finding out about the joys, the sorrows, the griefs, and the celebrations of people I am intimately connected to yet have never known. In my opinion, there is a certain holiness that comes along with the ability to share some of the high points as well as the low points of their lives. And I am in awe at the way I feel some of these individuals are, perhaps, reaching out to me to help me understand what made them tick.
Of course, none of us will ever be able to fully understand the meaning and purpose of life, or the mystery that we call death - not until that day when we meet the Lord face-to-face. But I believe, and the Bible teaches us, that life is a continuum. The thing we call death is just a transition point on that continuum. And somehow, someway, we are all connected with one another - all children of God - regardless of which side of eternity we are on.
So maybe that's what my addiction is all about. Maybe it's about the wonder and mystery of life and the way God has designed us to be in community with one another. And I think that perhaps that sense of wonder and awe is something I need a whole lot more of - all of us do.