We talk about families drawing together in times of challenge. We talk about tightknit families. And we talk about families as "circles"—a symbol that for some might mean an embrace and for others a noose. But what draws families together without squashing individuality? What enables a family to embrace more than the familiar? How can fellow workers, church members, neighbors, and even nations become better families?

In this Sentinel these are some of the themes we discuss. For example, the article "If your parents just don't understand ..." helps us look at the healing of friction between parents and children, but its message also offers a spiritual perspective on peacemaking—whether it applies to young adults emerging in a family or new nations emerging in Eastern Europe. "Positive Press" and "Second Thought" bring heartening news of a willingness to work toward families that work—toward relationships based on what can only be called Christly qualities.

Broadening from this theme, other authors explore the spiritual light that forgiveness and love can bring. In this light we see the way to healing and restoration. We learn we are actually members of the one family where all find freedom—the family of divine Love. And as one editorial writer points out, it's not impractical or naive to expect to feel the embrace of this Love now.

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Family circles—wider and stronger
December 2, 1991

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