It’s Called Family

16 03 2014

I think I might have been around 15 when the prettiest little gal these eyes had ever looked upon became my girlfriend.  Hair like Imagedark silk, a face like a princess and a voice so soft and gentle it almost sounded like a melody when she spoke.  I had met the girl of my dreams and just knew this was going to be a long wonderful relationship.  Well, in the scheme of life I suppose two weeks could be looked on as long, but it certainly took me by surprise not to mention made my head hurt both literally and figuratively.

While over visiting my new sweetie, sitting on the couch in the basement watching TV and holding hands, I waited until the opportune time presented itself and reached over to give her a kiss.  Suddenly there was this shrill voice coming from a corner in the basement, “I’m Tell Mom, I’m telling Mom!”  Enter the obnoxious little brother who had been hiding, spying on us and waiting for the best moment to let his presence be known.  My girlfriend bolted off the couch and ran over to grab him, but he was too fast and got away.  Now my pretty princess was sobbing her eyes out knowing if he told she would be in trouble.  “You’d better go,” she told me, “I’ll see if I can fix things before he runs his mouth, I’ll see you at school.”  On the way home I was feeling so bad for my girl because she was sad, while at the same time angry at the little twerp who caused all the problems, just give me a chance and I would see that he never caused problems again!!  At school she told me everything was okay, “I bribed him by doing all his chores so he wouldn’t say anything.  Come over this Saturday, but we’ll have to be a lot more careful.”  Oh, I would be there Saturday, but with the intentions of us never to be bothered by this brat again.  Once again we were in the basement, but this time we didn’t even hold hands. When the coast finally looked clear, she moved over and let me put my arm around her; that’s when we heard that evil penetrating voice once more, “I’m telling mom!”  This time I was the one jumping from the couch after the bratty brother and caught him before he made it up the steps.  With one hand grabbing him by the front of the shirt and the other on his face squeezing his cheeks, I began in my harshest voice to let him know what would happen if he opened his mouth, only I didn’t get the chance.  I suddenly felt like I was in a karate move and a female Bruce Lee was unloading on me with kicks and punches from every direction. “You let go of my brother, don’t you ever put your hands on him like that!  Just get out; I don’t want to see you again!!”  What the heck just happened?!!  Here I thought I was doing the right thing and I come away with bruises on my shins, a little less hair to the back of my head and my right ear nearly torn off, Whoa!! Girls, who can figure them out?  It would be some 25 years later before I realized it had nothing to do with being a girl, it was something much deeper.

I was driving home one summer evening back in the late 90s.  By this point in life I was now the father of three teenagers, two boys and a girl with the daughter being the oldest. With my Lady and I being only children we never experienced or knew about the adverse conditions that could arise from time to time with youngin’s being raised up under the same roof.  It got loud at times, but I figured as long as there wasn’t bloodshed they’d grow out of this phase; least that was the hope and prayer.  Truthfully, I yearned to see some evidence that they truly loved each other they way their mother and I hoped they would, that evidence was about to play out in a supermarket parking lot.  Recognizing a couple of the kids standing in the lot as my own and having a feeling there was trouble about to start, I circled around and came up the back side of the store.  Something told me just to sit, and watch.  My son and a couple of his friends had been walking across the parking lot when a car full of older teens pulled up beside them with the idea of beating the tar out of them.  Don’t you just love the way bullies think?  They’re always bravest when in a group and picking on ones smaller and weaker!  (Okay, I’m done venting.)  Before any action could play out our “hero” for that moment came walking out of the store, a yell to get everyone’s attention and it was Jane Dandy to the rescue Jack!!!

Now get a mental picture of this, okay; you have two groups of boys facing each other with a with a really hacked off gal standing in the middle exchanging words with one of the biggest letting him know “Your mama will have to have you DNA tested to prove you’re her son by the time I get done with you if you lay a hand on my brother!”  The standoff lasted a few more minutes and the bullies chose the better side of valor (and embarrassment) by jumping back in their car and leaving.  One word came to me that evening; family.

In both cases I was being shown that in a true loving family relationship there can be spats, disagreements, and even trouble at times, but that’s not to be taken as a lack of love.  Both girls taught me that no matter what, family was first and foremost.  It didn’t matter what the past was, it didn’t matter what problems they had, what did matter was the true love they possessed, not in words, but in deed for each other; like I said Family.

These have been two good memories about two loving sisters (even if one gave me a beating I just quit hurting from about a week ago!) and I could quit here with the old adage that blood is thicker than water.  But once again I was shown something more, I was shown Christ.  The number one attraction to me about Christianity was a God that no matter what I did, He would never stop loving me; that when there was no place to turn, He would always be there for me.  He tells me that clearly, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And then there’s one of my favorites; “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Family

As you Travel along the Rock Road, remember who God blessed you with as family be it genetic, spiritual, or relational like close, dear friends.  They’re there for a reason, they’re a part of you to cherish, protect and love with all your heart.  As for you young men courting your young lady, beware of the little brother, and for Pete’s sake don’t touch him!  Bribe the little bugger; you’ll live a more painless life!




2 responses

17 03 2014
Gary Austin

When you’re an only child, you need a good family to be connected to. When you’re in the family of God, there’s some good folk to get connected with – but watch out for those who would be “bullies” or for the “little brothers” that attack. They can hurt. But family is family. I’m going to guess that “watching out” for them means to pray for them. After all, they are family.

17 03 2014

Oh without a doubt and trust me I have on many occasions, Matter of fact I was convicted of my actions years later and I wrote to the family of my short lived girl friend to ask forgiveness for any and all negative actions and attitudes I brought into their family circle.
I guess it like the words of the writer who said God loves us just as we are- but too much to let us stay that way. Awesome!!!
Thanks for your input my friend.

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