Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I had great plans for today. I was going to get caught up on laundry and make cinnamon rolls and sort through a couple boxes in the garage and clean the kitchen and read a few chapters in the Bible and read some of The Lord of the Rings and then read a chapter in Noel Piper's book after doing the breakfast-lunch dishes. I really was.
But two loads of clothing are spread out on my queen size bed so they do not wrinkle before I get them to their permanent homes and the dishes are done. Other than that... nada, nothing, just a lot of looking out into space and thinking... not even a good ponder.
Sad news arrived this morning as my sister called to tell me our eldest brother had passed away. This is not headline news since he has been in ill health for years and I'm afraid my other sister's involvement in his last months (because she also lives in Florida) has become a huge source of disagreement between my (now) only two living siblings. Family drama...
My lingering burden about my brother... I did not know his spiritual condition. Sometimes you just don't know. Sometimes it is better that way. Regardless, the eldest is now gone. We have not lived in the same state for most of my adult life but his presence was always there, the brother with children older than me... who sung me Elvis songs (he had, at one time, been a professional county and western singer) as a child and walked me down the aisle at my wedding. The one I think of as I cover my food with freshly ground pepper as he taught me so long ago.
I didn't grow up with the others, their father having passed away when he and my mother were in their 30s. I came along later, a yours-mine-and-ours from a second marriage. Our history was not always the same but there was much affection and fun. Then there came a day that changed it all... when I made a commitment to live a life for Christ... in a family who had for the most part clung to hymns and memories of mamaw but not the Person... a lot like Elvis whose songs he sung.
Their view of our Lord came through the lens of the legalism in which my mother had been raised and rejected. She loved her mama and she loved her mama's music but she did not love her mama's God. Thus were raised a hard drinking-hard living group of siblings.
Even as a few came to know the Truth and followed Him, it still was not the same. As I believe my mother came to know Him, too... it was not the same. A wall I didn't understand at the time was put up by the others after it became obvious my decision to Follow was not another teenage whim. I felt their distance and was quite bewildered until I had lived enough years to understand... their fear, their lifestyles, their need to stay away from someone with the Light.
I am certain much of the sadness I feel today as my brother's physical body finally gave in to the years of illness has more to do with that loss so long ago rather than today. There is a reason He tells us in the Book that we may give up mother and father and sister and brother and friends and others to follow Him.
It is not a popular message and rarely taught today. It is easy to neglect the teaching for I live in a country where one may only have discomfort at family reunions and a rolling of the eyes when ordering coffee instead of Jack Daniels. But others face real hardships each day from their decision, their very lives are in danger. There is no cheap grace among those who believe in such countries.
I am sure the burden and blues will lift as I meet a new day but just for today... as the eldest of eight is gone and three remain... memories of what was will prevail to be followed of what will be and a new list of that which needs accomplished. Tomorrow. The day after. Soon...
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 4:48 PM