My mom says I’m a keeper.

Genesis 4:2-9
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

If you have a sibling-or 5- you know how it goes. Where’s your brother? Did he eat lunch today? Has he done his homework? What does your sister’s facebook status mean? The school called– was it for you or Nico?

I love my Lil Brudder more than you could understand (even though I’m sure you ALL understand). He’s been my best friend as far back as I can remember. But as big as that special place in my heart is for him…not i day goes by when I don’t want to attack him to some extent. Truth be told, Nico is a grade-A punk. He’s the best of the best at getting on my last nerve.

I pick up my brother from school everyday. That shouldn’t be a big deal: we go to the SAME SCHOOL. However, I get a phone call saying “Hey. I’m by the Field House.” So I drive to the Field House and he’s not there. I call him fifteen or twenty times with no answer and as I’m driving around I see him up to Shenanigans in the parking lot of the Shell or the sandwich shop. I sling into the parking lot, rolling down my window: “Let go of that kid and get in the car!” or “I’ve been looking all over for you!” or  “I’m gonna slow down, if you’re not in the car when I speed up again it’s your own loss!” Maybe not that last one, but I feel that way sometimes.

Sometimes our siblings are the hardest ones to love. Not even talking about everyone because we’re all Brothers & Sisters. I am talking about those people that grow up in our house. The ones who watched us turn into the people we are today. The ones we compete with for all kinds of attention (or deflect all kinds of attention to). The ones we fall asleep ontop of on long road trips. The ones who got gum stuck in our hair, pushed us down the stairs, and ripped heads of our teddy bears. Our siblings.

Why would God make families the way they are? It seems pretty obvious how the parent-child dynamic is supposed to be. Parents raise the children and the children grow up to be parents who raise the children and the children grow up to…etc. But siblings are harder. Maybe we’re supposed to torture each other so that when we grow up, we’re stronger for having made it through childhood alive. Maybe we’re supposed to make each other feel stupid because we’re different and constantly put each other down so that our younger sibling will feel like they’re worthless unless they grow up to be just like the bigger one. Maybe we’re supposed to compete with each other to the death to regulate overpopulation.

For some reason, I don’t think any of these are our best bet for doing what we’re supposed to do.

I am my brother’s keeper. That means no matter how angry I get when he doesn’t answer his phone, I always call again. That means even if I have to pull the car to a complete stop, I  always let him get in. That means when I’m jealous of him for whatever reason, I let him have it and I get over myself. That means I invest in him enough to know where he is when God asks me. That might be what your mom meant when she said you were a keeper.

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