I love history, understanding why and how things worked at a period of time and how that has created ripple effects that translate to our lives today. I find myself doing an internal eye roll and silent sigh heaving every time I hear it said that history isn’t interesting or not important. Intrigue, war, politics, romance, power, peace, learning, conquering, wins, losses, explorations – it is all there! In the whole span of history, my favorite time period to read about is 12th century Wales. After starting as curiosity from a family genealogy project, I found stories that let me put historical flesh back on people and make them much more real to me.
A phrase in that study leads me to more of an etymology understanding, “blood will out.” In other words, at the end blood will tell, the family history will show itself, and true heritage will break through. It is an interesting concept, one worthy of discussion and consideration. I was looking at it in the case of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ap Llywelyn Fawr, (that is Llywelyn, son of Gruffydd, son of Llywelyn the Great) or Llywelyn Prince of Wales, to add an interesting layer. Llywelyn Fawr, the grandfather, was known as “the Great” and the first to steer Wales from a loose collection of fractious rivalries to a power that would form the seed of a nation. This man faced dissent both from inside his borders, his neighbors, and from the looming border of England. Even his son, Gruffydd, did not demonstrate his father’s understanding of the love of country over the love of son; creating a rift that would not heal in Gruffydd’s lifetime. It was the grandson who understood the dream, where blood told of the nobleness of self-denial in an effort to create a strong and independent nation from disjointed lands, political maneuverings, and shadowy dreams. It’s a much older argument than so nicely phrased in nature vs. nurture.
Blood will out – human blood sullied by the sin of the first man, the first woman and carried in our veins since. Blood will out – the Christ follower who receives a transplant of sorts, a washing away of the sin. It is in the changes of the Christ follower’s life that we see that blood will indeed show itself time and again. It is when we see changes that make impacts that are both deep and long lasting over generations that we see this blood change. Blood will out – indeed.