the other night on PBS and was incredibly moved.
It chronicles one man's efforts to uncover his African roots (as well has his efforts to help several prominent black people's roots simultaneously), delving through geneaological resources, documents in archives across the US and using some cutting edge DNA techniques to ascertain the genetic breakdown of his ancestry.
It was amazing to see people's reactions to the discovery of various things: the shared ancestry with both white and black slaveholders, the shared ancestry with really amazing individuals who made a difference in their time, and the discovery of shared genetic history with real peoples in Africa and other places in the world.
Perhaps the most moving part of the story was seeing Chris Tucker's journey to Africa to visit the villages of a people he shares a definitive portion of his genetic code with. You could see how overwhelmed he was to be amongst people who were his family, despite never knowing them. The discovery of this bond immediately impacted him and changed his life, having an anchor in a place where once there were only questions.
It got me thinking about how amazing God is, and how transforming his love is. Not everyone has the resources to pursue the kind of self-discovery that the host of the show or Chris Tucker did, but God provides us with a center in our identity that's unshakeable. He gives us identity and worth from the moment we are conceived, and never loses sight of who we are. He cares for us down to the most minute details, and gives us a future and a hope.
The thing I love the most about this aspect of God is that I don't have to go all the way across the world to find it- he is reaching, straining with every fibre of his being across the breach of eternity to me in every moment to make himself real and flood my life with goodness, love and mercy. It's why self-definition happens most profoundly when in the midst and context of learning what God believes, says and loves about us- your whole life is changed.
Thanks God- you do all things well....