Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh, Brother!

The shh-tic-tic of Bishop's paws on the hardwoods next to our bed.  The short trek to the back door, only to find it's raining big, floppy, cold drops; there's no way he's going out in that.  Burrowing back into bed between sheets that have by this time begun to grow cold. 

All of it enough to flip the throttle of my slightly warped, always active mind, over to "FULL."  Or, as one of my favorite childhood heroes used to say, "My Spidey-senses are tingling."  Despite having gone to sleep only four short hours ago.  The reason for this sudden insomnia?  Less than twelve hours ago, we were preparing to leave my "nephew's" wedding -- a nephew I never knew until my father's death in 2009.  This is where my story begins.

My father had been married before he and my mother were married.  A simple, so-what sort of explanation far too common in this day and age.  Given the circumstances, the "players" involved, and the convoluted stuff cheesy stories are made of, yeah, it kinda was a big deal, but I share it with others, so I won't lay it all out there, so to speak. 

I don't remember ever not knowing I had other siblings.  As a child, I would wonder what my "big brothers" were like; there were two.  Particularly, when my little brother -- the one I shared both parents with -- was getting on my nerves, I would imagine trading him in for a brother I could really look up to; figuratively and literally, I guess. 

When my father passed a couple of years ago, I finally met my younger older brother.  Looking into his eyes was for me, like looking into the eyes of my father -- something I'd never been able to do.  Talking with him was reminiscent of some of the theological discussions my father and I would have when I was a teenager -- sometimes because of his great knowledge of Scripture, sometimes because the uncomfortable silence would gnaw at me and it was my "go-to" for finding some common ground between us.  But this?  This was different.  This was another piece of a puzzle, gently locking into place; this was a different kind of brother than the one of whom I had dreamed.

Two years later, less than a day ago, right smack in the middle of a mad dash to the parking lot to grab gum from the truck, so I could meet some folks without actually breathing coffee into their faces, and...

Number One Brother steps from between two chairs and introduces himself.  Wow!  (BTW, I'd considered calling him older older brother, but wisely I think, abandoned that point of reference.)  So how does it feel?  Still processing that one, but here's what I've got so far...

Superficially, I am amazed at the similarities in mannerisms and facial expressions; things heredity doesn't seem to explain.

Profoundly, I have been blessed with two great brothers and their families.  Half-brothers as a result of biology, but they are brothers in Christ -- a facet I consider to be of far more significance.  If shared genes, or curiosity, or common invitations never draw us to relationship again, I hope a mutual love of Our Lord and Savior will.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Way

This road I am on is not my own.  While it has been given me to travel, one day I will be forced to reckon with what I have or have not done while moving toward its end.  My reward will not come because I have travelled many miles or few.  My prize will not be given because the road has been exceptionally difficult or blessedly smooth.  This road is a gift, a gift which I must pass on to those I meet along the way; a gift I am called to share with those who do not yet know The Way.  When I reach the end of this road I will stand alone before the One has given me this gift, My Heavenly Father.  He will ask, "Who have you invited to follow you?"

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes unto the Father except through me." ~ Jesus Christ