Monday, July 23, 2007

Angel of Faith

Today is my sister Anela's birthday. Anela is the fourth oldest of my sisters. She has a degree in math and teaches dance. She and her husband live on the Big Island of Hawai'i and their two sons are bilingual in English and Hawaiian.

'Anela is the Hawaiian word--I assume a borrowing from English--for "angel." I have always found this an appropriate name for my sister, as she strives to be true to the Greek origins of the word as a messenger of God, whether bearing testimony of the things she believes in or acting in God's name by serving the people around her. In the past couple years she and her husband's dance class has performed in local dance concerts and competitions and the routines they've choreographed have centered around messages that are important to them, like the sanctity of marriage and the need to be conscientious in the media we allow into our lives. I respect them for standing up for what they believe in, particularly in a state like Hawai'i that isn't known for its conservativism, and I also really like how they use the art form they're so talented in--dance--to express their faith.

Anela is not only faithful to her religion, but she is also faithful to her family--or perhaps better put, she recognizes that being faithful to her religion goes hand in hand with being faithful to her family. Considering the fact that my religious paradigm and values don't match up very well with hers, and knowing how zealous I can be in voicing my own beliefs, I've often worried that our differences would drive us apart. A couple months ago, though, in response to something I'd said here about assuming my family and friends didn't want to be publicly connected to me, Anela wrote me an email to clarify that despite our religious and political differences, "I am not ashamed to be publicly connected to you." I am proud to be publicly connected to you, Anela, and to your example of faith.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Thank you Ben, what a wonderful birthday gift! You just made my day.