Ohana Means Family: Finding Hope

Our kids can be fickle with favorite movies. They will go through fads. So if we were to get going on favorite movies we’d have to talk about that moment, re-watch value, and then longevity at the top. I have four kids. Which means I cannot scientifically figure out that movie because I am way too tired. But near the top, if not there, would be Lilo and Stitch. You maybe didn’t see that coming. It’s probably not in most families top 5 (top 25?). Our kids always enjoy it and our eldest (the only boy) considers it his all time favorite and the sisters do take a lead from him. But… he isn’t alone. I can’t help but get sucked in at the end. The movie ends so well.

If you don’t know it, I will summarize really quickly. An ugly wild alien that was genetically created as a weapon of destruction escapes capture to land in Hawaii where he is adopted by a young girl as a “dog, I think.” (I know you want to go rent it RIGHT NOW!) 🙂

Meanwhile aliens are trying to take him back into captivity while she is in danger of being taken into government custody by a social worker because her older sister is trying to raise her after their parents died. Her sister can’t get, and hold, a job (many thanks to the misfit tag along younger sister and her destructive “dog”) and the two sisters can’t get along because they make better sisters than parent-child. But one refrain keeps being brought up, “Ohana means family. And family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”

Lilo, the young girl, reminds her sister of this saying of their father. And then toward the end when all seems lost and Stitch is about to be hauled away he asks, strangely politely (having learned a lot through the journey), “Can I say goodbye?”

When his captor asks who these people are his answer is: “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little, and broken, but still good. Yes still good.”

Those words always hit me deep down. Little, broken… and good. What a beautiful sentiment. This is how I understand family too. This is what community is in the deepest most fundament sense. Not that we are triumphant, perfect, or unbeatable. That we are good. That we are real, in our brokenness. And that no matter what is lost… it is not forgotten, or left behind.

Whenever the tragic happens in our communities, or adversity strikes my family… or just – you know – crap happens. I do not draw to strength and imperviousness. And I am not forlorn and despairing. I draw back to what is good. The people who remind me that I am not alone. The crazy zany too loud kids. The women’s bible study who let’s me sit in. A morning and afternoon walk with a co-worker so we stay healthy… when I remember to do it (and he never faults me when I don’t). My wife. Always her. Parents that taught me Ohana, without that particular word for it.

We are little.
We are broken.
And yes. It is good.

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on June 19, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

    Luke 18:16-17 | NASB

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