"Brother Against Brother"
I grew up in, what I consider to be, a good home. My parents were, and are married to each other. We went to church, ate supper, vacationed, and watched TV as a family. As uneventful as some of my childhood may seem, to some, I am so grateful for the chances and choices afforded me through this upbringing.
I have a brother who is three years older than I. Our earlier years, he was my friend and hang out buddy. We were as close as any, and closer than some.
As he reached his teen years, I lost him. Not only was he not around to hang with any more, but when he was we did not get along. To me, it seemed like he hated me. Everything I did, and pretty much everything I was.
This went on for years. To this point in my life, most of my adult years were spent NOT getting along with him.
I moved out of state some years ago, and was no longer around to even see my only brother.
The worst times of my life were spent out of state, and ultimately, with no one there to turn to.
At one of my lowest times, my brother called me just to talk. It was a funny thing. I was all apprehensive and shy, only to find that something was different. This was not the same brother I had left. That first phone conversation lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of four hours. I loved it. I had a sense that it was a one-time thing and did not want it to end. Guess what? It was not a one-time thing. Now, a few years later, we are closer than ever. I only rarely see a slight glimpse of who he used to be. Then, only when he is sick, tired, or in pain.
In other words, I do see him on edge every once in a while. Yet, even then, his attitude toward things and people is just so different.
My brother is my friend, and my friend is my brother. I couldn't have prayed for any better.
Now, we have busy schedules and are working and raising our kids. There is not a lot of time to hang out. I know, though, that he is there and I hope he knows I'm here.
Life hasn't afforded me an easy time of it, but God has given me an amazing brother who I love and respect deeply.
This summer there has been some things going on with some people close to me. Not blood relatives, but family just the same. I've seen something that was great start to deteriorate, and I just want to take a few minutes to make a few comments.
Not everything our loved ones say to us is easy to take. Sometimes it's downright hard. Sometimes the things we need to say to them are hard, too. We have to trust, as do they, that we all love each other enough to be straight forward and honest, and to take what is said in the spirit in which it was intended. Ones ability to take anothers advice does not show our ignorance, it shows our wisdom. Only by admitting we are not perfect, and have room to improve can we truly be wise.
In the situation to which I am referring, there were several culprits, but I'm not sure that the folks who are being hurt are the ones that are causing the trouble.
The common mistake has been the most obvious so far. People started gossiping, and before you knew it, the whole world knew something. Yet, what they know is now a distorted and one-sided view of what actually happened.
In short, people who were not directly involved got involved when it was not their place to do so, and people have said and are saying mean and hurtful things to each other, that have no place in the resolution of problems.
What it amounts to is brother against brother. Whether we realize it or not, everyone gets hurt at times like these. When people lash out instead of reconcile, there is a breeding ground for hate, hurt, and utter confusion. It's not about one individual, it's about peace. It's about harmony with our brother. It's more than one person being hurt; it's causing a large group to ache. That group becomes larger every time the story is told. The original story, has been discarded and replaced with a falsehood long ago.
After a few days the story is nowhere near the original. What started as a simple, 'hard to take/hard to say', conversation has turned into a brawl. People who care nothing about the people involved are getting involved. Because they are concerned about right and wrong? Nope. Because they look for a fight. They smell blood and they want to be right in the thick of it when the blood flies.
I'm writing this article from a semi-neutral point of view. I was not personally involved. The original issue aside, though, and I have much to say.
From this neutral place I sit. I see one group of people, stirring up dissension. Trying to hurt and lash out. Intentional attacks. I, personally, have caught these people in embellishing, stretching, and outright tossing out facts.
Whoever was right on the original issue.. the mudslinging and hateful sentiments are wrong. Gossip is wrong. Stirring up private things and making it public is wrong. If it is not for good, it is not right.
I want to close this out with a question, and a challenge. Read the beatitudes in the Bible and decide for yourself. Are the things you are saying and doing matching up? Whether you know of the situation I'm speaking or not, it doesn't matter. This is not uncommon. Apply these words to your own life. Are you building up, or tearing down? If you cannot back and support your actions, then for the sake of what is good and holy, change the way you deal with things. Think on things in the proper perspective and handle them accordingly.
As for myself, I love everyone, and hope and pray for a quick resolution, and healing for all involved. Not just in the situation I was describing, but in conflicts and circumstances everywhere.
God bless and good luck.