God, My Story

A Brother’s Love & Protection

Sibling Love/Sibling Rivalry

Most of the time I loved my siblings and enjoyed playing with them and running around with them while we were growing up. Then there were those times that I remember being angry with them and hurt by them and even confused. But hey, that’s what having brothers and sisters is all about – sibling love and sibling rivalry!

Not Pulling My Hair…

My brother, Jesse, is five years older than me and the sibling immediately older than me in our birth order. When I think about Jesse a few things stand out to me: Baseball, Video Games, Friends, and Hair Pulling. Even into our adulthood, my brother still pulled my hair! His favorite thing to say to me was, “I’m not pulling your hair you’re pulling your own hair”. Technically, he was right. He was ‘holding’ my hair and I was pulling to get away from his grasp. But that justification was just splitting hairs (pun intended). He WAS pulling my hair.

Jesse ‘not-pulling’ my hair

Almost Spitting…

We had the usual brother-sister spat… or should I say ‘spit’? That’s right, he liked to almost spit on me! He was a great wrestler and I wasn’t afraid to get in on the fight, but then he’d win. As he had me pinned to the floor he’d let a drop of saliva every so slowly begin to drip from his lips. I was sure it was going to fall right onto my face! But usually, he sucked it back up just in time. I was saved!

Teasing and Love

You see, even though these things could be seen as malicious and mean-spirited, he never actually hurt me. He was big on teasing – took after my dad and oldest brother on that! But he never hurt me. Case in point; one time he was looking after me and I wanted to play with him and his friend. They were playing catch with a baseball. Somehow I got in the cross fire and the ball hit me in the face. As I started to wail, Jesse immediately jumped into action. He quickly got some ice for my injury. Then he found me my favorite blanket and pillow and made up a bed for me on the porch swing. I thought it was great to have my big brother catering to me and I soaked up the attention and happily watched as he and his friend went back to playing catch. Either Jesse really cared about me or he  was really afraid of getting into trouble with Mom and Dad.

A Safe Place…

Whichever one it was, I found out his true heart as we got a little older. I actually don’t remember the memory very well, but the feelings of that memory are unforgettable. Jesse was left in charge of me again and I got very afraid of being left alone, without my parents. I don’t know why exactly. It was probably a step in my journey of growing up and maturing into independence. Jesse could tell how down I was feeling and he came to my room to talk to me. The words he said and his actions showed me that with him around, I never needed to be afraid. It anchored me so I could jump up and roam around again happily.

Jesse and me more recently

Jesse has proven his safety and care over and over again through the years. He has offered thoughtful advice at key moments in my growing up. He signed off on my then boyfriend – now husband, a very important opinion. And he still quietly shares his heart and reflections on current situations with truth and wisdom. I now see him caring for his own family in this same way.

Trickling Down…

There’s something very good that can be said for acting in such a way that those around you feel safe. When we challenge ourselves to be courageous and caring, it has a ripple effect to those around us. Not only do they feel safe, but they are empowered to be a safe place for those around them. Ultimately, we get our first safety from God the Father. His love trickles down to us directly and also through the people we find safety in and then on towards those who find safety with us.

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