ˌəmˈbrelə/nounnoun: umbrella; plural noun: umbrellas1.a device consisting of a circular canopy of cloth on a folding metal frame supported by a central rod, used as protection against rain or sometimes sun.
2.a protecting force or influence."the American nuclear umbrella over the West"
Over the seasons of living with and loving the young women and their children that have been part of our lives, I have come to recognize the real role that we serve. We are an umbrella. We offer "protection against" further hardship, deeper hurt and facing life alone. We are a "protecting force or influence" that for a season offers hope, gives voice to long silent dreams, and gently points the way to the eternal. Much like the banner of love we are offered by our Heavenly Father, so we step into that role for those who would choose to step out of the sun or rain and we remain in place as a rally point.
Season after season we hear from someone who came to us in a time of need and now they know where they can step out of the storm. We are here. They can freely come and go and choose to stay under the protective cover, stand nearby, or simply check to see if the umbrella is still open. Making full use of the umbrella is a choice, returning to the umbrella is optional and there is no further obligation once they have let go. We remain in place to provide protection, to offer hope and to live our mandate of love.
Psalm 60:6 (CJB)
6 (4) To those who fear you because of the truth
you gave a banner to rally around, (Selah)
Song of Solomon 2:4(CJB)
4 He brings me to the banquet hall;
his banner over me is love.