“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon.
December is here before its June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”
Dr. Seuss’s lyrical words ring true, don’t they? In the blink of an eye, I’m in my late forties. The formative years of my three children’s lives are over. Empty nest looms around the corner. But, in the midst of all these “closures” I have noticed many new doors opening. One imparticular . . . the door to a great new relationship with my older brother, Mike. Born 7 years, 8 months before me, we never really had the opportunity to develop a close sister/brother relationship. There were many reasons for this-dysfunctional home (alchoholic Dad), the expansive age difference, and the fact that he was gone and in college and then sailing the seas with the Navy, before we ever had the chance. BUT, as time has aged us both, there doesn’t seem to be such a huge chasm between us anymore. God, in His sweet mercy and love, has redeemed the years and provided TIME for us to get to know one another.
Retired now from two careers, he has been able to come spend time with us. He willingly came to help me out with the three graduations. “Tuna,” he said, “I’m coming for a week. Put me to work. I want to help.” (Yes, my nickname is Tuna. Don’t ask why!) “Okay,” I replied. Not really knowing how to handle his offering. I honestly haven’t known what it feels like to have a brother . . . a father . . . until now . . . and boy, does it feel good. Great, actually. The week before the twins graduation, he was at my house, 10 a.m. on the dot, to walk his six miles. An avid walker myself, I laced my walking shoes and tried to keep up with his brisk pace. Unable to walk the whole six miles, I did walk halfway, talking the entire time. After our walk, we had lunch, ran errands, etc. Graduation night he sat next to me, making fun of my emotional state (smile) and putting his arm around me, telling me I had done a great job. The next day, before, during and after the graduation brunch, he worked tirelessly – helping me prepare food, setting the table, filling coolers with ice, washing/drying dishes, and much, much more. And, every now and then, would come up, put his arm around me and once again, tell me I had done a great job. Honestly, it was more than I could bear. I know he doesn’t know how much it meant to me, but it was overwhelming. I finally know how it feels to have a big brother to lean on.
I say all this to say. . .it is never too late to have a great relationship with someone you love. With Father’s Day around the corner, I want you to know I will be praying for you. Perhaps you have a fantastic relationship with your Dad – oh, I hope so – or perhaps, like me, you are longing for that relationship. In my first book, Rock-Solid Families, I shared the story of my strained father-daughter relationship and how God, in his mercy, brought total restoration and healing in the final hours of my father’s life. Now, years later, God is doing the same with my brother. I urge you to keep believing in the God of Restoration. I urge you to persevere. Don’t throw in the towel on strained relationships or impossible people. Join me, today, in making Psalm 71:19-21 (MSG) our prayer:
You got me when I was an unformed youth,
God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.
God, don’t walk off and leave me
until I get out the news
Of your strong right arm to this world,
news of your power to the world yet to come,
Your famous and righteous
ways, O God.
God, you’ve done it all!
You, who made me stare trouble in the face,
Who is quite like you?
Turn me around;
Now let me look life in the face.
I’ve been to the bottom;
Bring me up, streaming with honors;
turn to me, be tender to me,
And I’ll take up the lute and thank you
to the tune of your faithfulness, God.
I’ll make music for you on a harp,
Holy One of Israel.
When I open up in song to you,
I let out lungsful of praise,
my rescued life a song.
All day long I’m chanting
about you and your righteous ways,
While those who tried to do me in
slink off looking ashamed.”
Will you believe with me, today, for restored relationships? I’m here to infuse courage into your heart and remind you that it’s never too late . . .