Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Six of Us

Over this Christmas we sat in the ICU at various times and watched our Dad watch his brother labour through tubes and machines and fever and infection and the inability to speak, to move, to breathe on his own.

Gordon's eyes remained closed for much of the time. He seemed so small in that room, so helpless. And yet, when Dad spoke to him, when Dad quoted scripture and sang and held his hand, those tired blue eyes fluttered open and fixed themselves on his younger brother's face. Blood pressure measurements crept toward normal levels. And he was calmed in his soul.

Over this Christmas the six of us sat in one of our homes, surrounded by the people we love the most on earth. And as I looked at each dear face, I thought of Dad and Gordon gazing wordlessly at each other, speaking a language too deep for words, too profound for this world, linked by their earthly parents, their heavenly Father and their deep and abiding love and respect for each other.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "If one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."

Death, when it comes, will be unable to cut this cord: though one strand will be in heaven and another remain on earth, the golden strand of grace will lash them together until they can be reunited once more. They will never be alone.

Over this Christmas food was eaten, presents exchanged, stories told, games played and laughter shared. Kindness and goodwill abounded in that home.

I have come to realize that there is no one I would rather be with for special occasions than my siblings. It is to them that I come with my joys and sorrows. It is their joys I rejoice in as exuberantly as if they were mine. It is their sorrows and troubles that I agonize over more deeply than my own.

They know me with a knowledge far deeper than language. They love me more than I deserve and they accept me for who I am.

"You've been a good big brother," my Dad said to Gordon.

When it comes my time to leave this world I want one of my sisters or my brother standing at the side of my bed, holding my hand, reminding me that Jesus loves me and so do they, singing to me:

In the sweet bye and bye we shall meet on that beautiful shore
In the sweet bye and bye we shall meet on that beautiful shore


Goodnight, our God is watching o'er you
Goodnight, His mercies go before you
Goodnight, and we'll be praying for you
So goodnight, may God bless you

Or I want to be able to do the same for them.

Happy Christmas, Bronwyn, Allan, Cathryn, Beth and Deborah Joy. Being one of your siblings is the greatest earthly gift I could be given, at Christmas and throughout each year. You've been a good brother and good sisters.

I love you.

1 comment:

  1. I hope I never have to sing you those songs in that state, or you me, but should it be, it would be a great privilege to do that, only because I know that God's grace is sufficient to give us the strength to do so and carry us on til we each see Him face to face and be with each other once again. His love is amazing! I'm grateful that He gifted our family with you as eldest of our siblings. What a good big sister you are!
    See you in the morning.


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