Technically, I have many siblings according to Wikipedia-each of two or more children or offspring having one or both parents in common; a brother or sister. My parents were divorced, both remarried and have their own children. I also learned that my dad has another son, not from both his marriages, somewhere out there. The relationships within my family is commonly termed as complicated. It is not ideal but we have somehow worked out and still working out the best way to live our lives, some with each other in a complicated setup as such and some, without.
In most societies throughout the world, siblings often grow up together, thereby facilitating the development of strong emotional bonds. Out of the many supposed siblings, I only have one who qualifies in the development of strong emotional bonds with me. My baby brother.
I love him. I loved him since the first time I saw him, or rather, even when he was in my mother’s womb. I was little, only over three of age but I grew up with flashes of memories that I wished could be better if there were erased sometimes. I remember seeing my mom crying all the time, sometimes when she was alone in the bedroom, sometimes when she was on the phone with someone and some other times when dad was around. I remember feeling very helpless. All I could do was to bring tissue-paper or a cup of water to her so she could stop crying. Sometimes they worked but most times they did not. I was hoping maybe this little baby growing bigger and bigger in Mom’s womb would be out soon and we can think of what to do together. I thought, maybe Mom would be happier if we knew what to do for her.
My little baby brother finally arrived. He was a beautiful baby. He was chubby, had dark and soft wavy hair, rosy cheeks, pouty red lips and very long curled-up eye-lashes. He had tiny hands and feet. I remember everyone loved him. I remember he knew who I was and liked me too. The house was suddenly flooded with more visitors from time to time, all coming to see him. The house was filled with more laughter, at least, for a while. Before long, Mom’s crying resumed and it became worse. There were not only sobbing and crying but wailing and screaming. The quarrels and fights between Mom and Dad became more and more frequent. I was less afraid because I was not alone. I would hold the tiny hand of my beautiful baby brother every night as we go to bed. It was really good to be not alone. We had lots of fun and laughter growing up together and I did not need any other friends because he was always around and I knew he adored me. He would do whatever I asked him to although it always ended up with him crying because I was too mischievous and he probably got hurt in the process somehow.
A supposedly God-given playmate and soulmate was also an existence of someone whom made me realize and had to deal with my own insecurities. I suddenly realized that I was not as favored by the people around. I had to learn to share my possession-my toys and presents and most importantly, the attention from my parents. I loved him but I was also helpless with the rejection that I was dealing with. It did not help when I overheard my parents’ plans for divorce and in the midst of their quarrels, they were only fighting for custody of my baby brother. I knew it was not my brother’s fault and there were many good reasons why they had to just be fighting for him but this feeling of rejection remained a plague to me for a long time.
I did not know love. I did not know how to love my beautiful baby brother and I might have treated him as my possession rather than being grateful to God for him. I am still struggling to show my love for him in the way that he can be loved, the way that he wants to be loved, more importantly, to show the unconditional love that God has given me. Both of us grew up with many wounds and scars. Hurtful words and harsh reality hurl at us as we were left to fend for ourselves most of the time while our parents had their own issues to deal with. Thank God, we grew up well, at least according to the world’s standards, received the required education and each have our own ability to earn a living in this competitive society. Most importantly, God extended His invitation to us, to know Him. This faith journey has been a long and challenging one for both of us and I pray for the day that my brother will turn back to look at the Cross again.
We recently had a fight. My brother reacted and walked away in pain again. Although we shared the same childhood and as my Mom said, we were caught in almost the same undesirable situations, we have very different personalities and developed different values and perspectives out of this cruel reality of life. I would be so ashamed of who I have become if not for Christ. I thank God for His grace and mercy that has brought me this far, and more to come, as His Holy Spirit continues to work in me.
The fight was absurd and redundant. It started with a very small misunderstanding and I am feeling very hurt because my dearest brother seemed to have no consideration of our kinship, let alone the many challenging decisions I had made out of what I thought was a consideration for him, as my brother, my family. I felt betrayed and rejected again. My responses were definitely driven by a very destroyed soul, a being that carries my past and forms part of my present. Thank God that it does not need to hold my future, at least, this is my hope as a believer in Christ.
I feel so helpless. I am crying injustice over my brother’s response to me. I am disheartened that despite all the considerations I have been giving and all I have done for him to show love, he is so quick to turn away from me without giving any chance to clear the air. I am angry. I am angry with my Mom who cannot do anything to help us in this situation when she was the one who indirectly caused the misunderstanding. I am angry that I cannot swallow my pride as I handle this. I am ashamed of myself that after all the talk, I cannot walk my talk to display Christ, to show unconditional love to the brother I claimed to love dearly. I am fearful of losing him, my only brother. I am worried that he is suffering more pain than I am and not turning back to God where help is. I want to help him but I know my ugly self will only make things worse for him to see Christ. I ask for forgiveness, not as a free ticket to commit more crimes but for the sake of the Forgiveness that was first given to us.
“For Aquinas, there exists a fundamental “likeness [similitude] to God” within the created order as a consequence of God being the cause, in some sense of the word, of all created things. In that no created thing can be said to come into existence spontaneously, the existence of all things can be considered to be a consequence of a relationship of causal dependence between the creation and its creator.” ~McGrath, Christian Theology, An Introduction.
I believe it was no coincidence that my brother and I are siblings. This kinship is connected to a larger relationship in God’s creation that is in God Himself and because God is good, everything caused by Him is good. What we were and are challenged now, plagued by our sinfulness, does not determine the outcome where Hope was given to us for our future. I believe God is in control even when everything seems helplessly hopeless now, even as I write.
This I write, to my beloved brother, “The greatest gift that our parents ever gave us was each other.”~Anonymous
His beautiful & relentless love makes a soul relentlessly beautiful.