Family is a dichotomy of love and hate – especially true in the relationships of siblings. Both emotions are steered by the conditions of their lives as they grow up. There were six of us children, growing up as “army brats”. That meant that every two years we moved to a new state. As a result, we became each others best friends because we had to depend one-on-the-other to be the constant in our lives during our formative years.
Then as we grew up we drifted into forming individual lives, only coming together as a family unit on holidays. That is until life began to bring us back to those feelings from our childhood when we were the only ones who recognized and who truly understood what the others were feeling. It is those very feelings that cause us to join in God’s word in Isaiah 40:1 “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God” bringing forth the unconditional comfort of family.
Today, my guest blogger is my oldest brother, Bill. When we were kids, he let me stay up late and watch The Twilight Zone with him on Friday nights, followed by those scary Godzilla movies on Saturday mornings, and laughed with me while watching Bugs Bunny cartoons, enabling me to face fear with the knowledge that better times always come. When I was only nine and weighed 75 pounds, a bully at school stomped my foot, causing me to cry. The next day at school, Bill walked up to the bully, stomped the bully’s foot and said, “Don’t ever do that to my sister again!” And the bully never did, nor any other bully because words do get around.
Bill is the one who, when I was home with a very bad case of the flu, signed me up for cheerleader tryouts; not something I had even considered. He then became my campaign manager by again signing me up to run for student council – also not on my “bucket list”. He helped me write the words to my campaign speeches and encouraged me to reach all the way to my toenails and to pull up the courage to share them in front of the student body (I was very shy). Imagine my surprise when I succeeded at both and both are two of my best high school memories.
He is the one, as I struggled with the decision to go to college after getting married said, “Just try it. Take one class, make it your favorite subject – and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back. You just need to know what it’s like.” As usual, he knew me better than I knew myself. Not only did I graduate cum laude from his favorite – The University of Alabama, I went on to obtain my Masters Degree.
He is the one who is calm in the storms of our lives as siblings today – all with words of peace, faith and hope, – and a whole lot of prayer. I want to share the words of this man who backs them up with actions, making a difference.
Words by Bill Brewer
“I guess, just about everyone has heard the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I, for one, have never embraced this saying, because words do have meanings and they do have consequences.
What if you had printer in your home and as you went through each day each word you spoke was printed from the printer, page by page? What would be there for you read when you got home? Would you share it with everyone or just shred it?
Then, what if for one day each word that you spoke would travel across the screen of all television sets in your hometown? Could you then go out and walk in public with your head held high? Or would you hide and only come out when it was dark?
In a spiritual way, each word we speak appears on the screen of God’s television. When each of us talk to people we meet each day, we should always strive to use words that God would approve of. Always remember that a word of kindness and encouragement, especially to a child, could give hope to a person that had none before, or give that child the needed encouragement to excel.
A single kind word or act to someone close to you, or even to a stranger, could show them that someone cares. So as you start each day ask yourself. “What will my printer say about me today?” But more importantly, when the day ends, we need to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus say about the words we spoke today?”
Bill, husband to Kathy, father to two daughters and grandfather to five grandchildren, brother, friend, veteran, refers to himself as “Just a God loving country boy.”
And so he is.