Oh, Brother!

By on January 28, 2013

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

I had the most bizarre, strange, unexpected, but yes, wonderful experience last week. My brother-in-law showed up at my front door. Now, you’re probably wondering why this is so strange. Well, for starters, I live on the east coast, and my brother-in-law lives on the west coast. Was he in my neighborhood on business? Nope. Was he visiting another friend or relative? Nope.

Had my husband spoken with him recently? Nope…..nope. Could that have been why?

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Yup!

To make a long story short, my husband and his brother hadn’t spoken at all in over a year. The family grew apart when my father-in-law needed to be in assisted living, and when my husband felt as though he was being shut out any discussions about his father’s care. What started off as frequent phone calls and a lot of sharing of ideas had dwindled down to an occasional email or text message, and maybe a card around the holidays. I can’t tell you if it was outright anger, or just feelings on all sides of being slighted or ignored, but a once-close family grew very far apart over time. And no one seemed to be budging on any side.

So one day last week the doorbell rang, and my husband went to answer it. I was pecking away on some work, so I stayed in my office, and didn’t pay much attention. I heard my husband talking to someone, and the talking continued for quite a while. After a few hours, I thought “who on earth could he be talking to?” so I walked out to see what was going on. My husband invited me into the room, and there, around the corner, was my brother-in-law! You could have knocked me over! Really?!

Yes!

The very first thing that popped into my head were these words that Jesus told us: “go and be reconciled to your brother”. I think my smile went from ear to ear, and I hugged him. I can’t tell you how thankful I was to see my brother-in-law standing in my house, wanting to reconcile with his brother. I can imagine that God was thankful, too. And I can understand why that is so very important to God. We are told to love one another. That doesn’t mean that we have to love everything that someone does. It doesn’t mean that we have to be supportive of someone else’s bad or immoral behavior. And it doesn’t mean that we have to be very best friends, either. But it does mean that we should want in our hearts to be at peace with others. And when we open ourselves to that peace with others, God’s peace with us can flow more freely.

Are you at peace with your brother, or sister….or friend…or co-worker? If not, leave your gift in front of the altar, and go and be reconciled!

Lord, you are so loving to tell us how to be at be at peace with you and those around us. Thank you for showing us the path to your heart. Thank you for the opportunity to reconcile with our “brothers”. And thank you for the brothers that show up on our doorsteps to be reconciled to us. Lord, open our hearts so that we can see our own arrogance, and help us to be open to being reconciled with those who’ve hurt us, or offended us, or who we have allowed to grow away from us. Lord, teach us how to remain at peace with others, and to avoid those things that hinder our relationships with others, and with you. Thank you for hearing our prayer, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Copyright ConnieD.  2013.  All rights reserved.

 

 

Originally posted on ProChristianWoman.

About Connie Dudley

Connie Dudley is new to blogging. She is an attorney by trade, but has always wanted to write, and write in a way that brings a little joy (and salt and light) into the lives of her readers. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Robert, who is a recent cancer survivor - an experience which has changed her life.

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Oh, Brother!