Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brotherly Love

Well, summer is passing all to quickly. It has been busy and fun thus far. One thing that has been an adjustment for everyone, but mostly for Coen, has been the reality that his big sister is around all the time. All year while Elle was in school he would ask (usually a half an hour after I put her on the bus) when Elle would be home. Now he's not sure what to do with her and her with him. There have been numerous episodes of complete and utter meltdown between the two parties. It's like they are learning all over again how to be with each other. It seems so hard for both of them.

Last week, I was speaking at a camp full of teenagers. It was a great time. I really loved being able to share every night about God's love and how that love translates into real life. While at camp, my kids had many tantrums. Elle, because Coen was all up in her business, and Coen, because he was on the bored side and just needed someone to throw stuff at. One morning this was all unfolding while we waited for breakfast. I noticed a girl and a boy, close in age, sitting at a table having coffee together. It was not the first time during the week that I had witnessed this morning ritual. I had asked them a couple days earlier if they were related and they told me that they were brother and sister. I was totally moved and shocked to see these two siblings taking time away from the craziness of camp to sit at a table together and take a few moments to connect in the morning. Pretty incredible. As we waited for breakfast, the tattler came over to complain that the annoyer was pushing and I saw a perfect opportunity to talk to the tattler about brotherly love. A picture of it was sitting across the room having coffee in the morning sunshine. An older sister, a younger brother. Most likely ten years earlier a tattler and an annoyer now sharing moments together before another day started and they wouldn't have a chance to be together. I told my tattler to take a good look at the coffee drinkers. I told her to remember that her brother, though truly annoying at times, really is the best friend that she could ever have and though it is really hard to love him at times, it is not optional.

I had been talking about God's love all week at camp. I saw it lived out in brotherly love. This is truly an expression and a lesson to be learned and cultivated. We only love God as much as we love our brother. Hmmm. I read a quote by Abraham Lincoln the other day that also really challenged me in this line of thinking..."Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them." This is my hope for my kids. Though they truly are enemies at times, I know what is possible, I've seen it. The part that really hits home to me about this whole thing is that my kids find out what real love looks like when I love. They see it when I love their dad. They see it when I love them. They see it when I love people that are hard to love. They see it when my love is more than words; when it has been translated into actions. They see it when I say that I love God and then love the people around me. They see it when I destroy my enemies by loving them...what a concept?!

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