Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I remember my brother and sister as being people who had much joy, were good to others, and yet were noticeably humble. Although they irritated me at times, I never felt them to be selfish. Sis, early in her marriage was very interested in new technology. She quickly became the IT guru in her office, and was asked to train further, with a promise of quick advancement – for money and prestige, while doing something she very much enjoyed. And for a newly married still teen-ager, she and her spouse were very happy. And then she found herself pregnant.

Sis loved her husband and family more than work, money and prestige. She wanted to grow in their eyes, not her boss’. Oh, she continued working while her children were daily cared for by nearby gramma, but when her husband’s illness dictated a change of climate, she readily quit her job and focused on her family. Her children never forgot gramma though, and fly to visit her each year, even if she sometimes struggles to remember them. But they remember her.

I lived with my brother and sister for twenty years before I moved away, and despite the many things they did which irritated me, but I will always remember the good things. I remember and try to live up to the good examples they gave me. I will always love, and pray to them.

It was a bad weekend for me. Pain from a tooth raised my blood pressure again, and nothing touched the pain or pressure. My head ached very much. Double doses of every drug I had and a good dentist helped to get me stable enough for him to do a root canal on Monday. The antibiotics and pain meds have now calmed my body. With me through all the pain was my Lord, my friend and my adopted brother.

In truth, I’ve known my adopted brother about as long as I lived with my earthly siblings. In the past 20 years, I have talked to Jesus, I have read many things about his life, and I can remember some of the events of his life just like those of my brother Eddie. Some of the events of Jesus’ life seem almost sinful to me – in that I certainly wouldn’t dare to do them. Some of the events of his life were just so innately good however, that I wonder if I could have done those actions either.

Even as Eddie was “a little slow” to those around him, Jesus was probably considered “a little fast” to those around him. Forget the miracles – that was just God – but his other actions were so basically, unusually, good that they sometimes required explanations, which he gave by illustrations, examples, and parables, and of course, loving patience. He intended good, even if those around him didn’t understand it – just like Eddie.

I learned about Eddie and about Jesus by living very close to them for a long time. How else can you really know someone? I now sometimes feel a bit sad when someone says something is wrong about what Jesus said or his church teaches, or if someone looks down on a mentally challenged person. Their logic usually gets down to a “this is what I feel” explanation, but how can you really “feel” you know something about someone, the meaning of what he said or did, unless you have lived with him a long while? Anything that you “feel” you know is really just a small snapshot, a picture at a moment, taken out of context, taken out of a life.

Eddie and Jesus were so much different. They were also so much alike. Forgetting about all the incidents, the “snapshots” of their life, I’ve come to know them both to be very loving, humble people. I know they always did things with a mind which wanted “to make mom and dad happy”. To me, they both gave me that example, to respect and care for my parents here on earth, and my Father in heaven.

I think that someday the “snapshots” of my life will be in an album, and perhaps I’ll review it together with all my parents, my brother and sister – and my adopted brother and Father also. We’ll laugh at some things, tsk-tsk at others, and finally remember the love we all see there. Then we’ll close that album and hug. And then get on with our new day together.

I pray that you may be spending some time getting to know your adopted brother, Jesus and his Father. There is so much to see and learn about them. Maybe you’ll be building snapshots for an album that you’ll smile at with them some day. Meanwhile, as you get closer to this brother, Jesus, you will find that you can call on him in your pains, as I did this weekend. “My dearest brother, please help me”. His hand in yours makes all the pains a little easier to bear. When you feel alone in your pains, you will know that he’s there for you, and he loves you. Speaking to him, knowing he is always close by, makes the worst of times more bearable, until the sun shines again in your life.

Even if your earthly family memories aren’t as nice as mine, never hate the idea of family. You have a wonderful family there in heaven. You are part of that family now; you will be even more a part of it in eternity. Please spend time getting to know them. The more you really know them, the more you will love them. They are as good as good can be. Really!

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