There is an old German proverb that we often use in English, “Blood is thicker than water.” It means that the bonds of family are stronger than those bonds between friends or unrelated people.
Sunday after church I understood this clearly while sitting in the pastor’s office. A woman in her 70’s, frail and using a cane, walked into the pastor’s office in need of prayer. I sat stunned as I heard her story and became increasingly angry at the same time.
It seems that this grandmother has an alcoholic daughter who lives with her. When the daughter drinks she begins abusing her mother by hitting and beating her. As the elderly woman told her story, which the pastor has heard before, I couldn’t help thinking that this woman was almost defenseless and couldn’t run away from the abuse due to her frail state.
The pastor informed me that he had visited and prayed with the daughter of several occasions and has wanted to call the police to report the abuse, but the elderly woman has begged him to not do so. So, the pastor promised to come once again and speak with the daughter and try to encourage her to stop her drinking and beatings.
I was struck by the love this elderly woman obviously has for her daughter. She kept repeating that we needed to pray for her daughter’s salvation. Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard the pastor pray for this unrepentant daughter and for the mother to have strength to endure.
As the woman left I remembered that old phrase, “blood is thicker than water.” It took on a slightly deeper meaning for me as to the degree this mother is willing to do to protect her daughter from life in prison. It is apparent that she loves her daughter very much and is willing to endure some abuse to see her daughter come to salvation. I am praying salvation comes quickly.