I forget that I have two brothers looking out for me. Actually, it is four. Two are related by blood. Two are family by choice. Even as I write, I realize that there are others. I am fortunate. I have individuals in my life that care about me from the inside out. The realization encourages me while bringing a sense of foreboding. As supportive as their words and actions can be, am I willing to have the tough conversations? Will I be willing and able to listen?
I look back and see their role in the defining moments of my life. Even though I was blind at the time, a word there, an action here, created a pivot moment where the direction I was heading in changed. On the whole, I am richer for the changes. For sure, I am safer. It is more than human action. It seems as though many of my brothers are divine agents, willing to act when inspired. As I look back, the collective record of their actions come together in a wonderful pattern of engaging compassion. God’s hand has always been here; “When I left the womb you cradled me; since the moment of birth you’ve been my God.” (Psalm 22.10)
The most recent reminder came in a casual telephone conversation. As I talked with a friend about the ongoing health of his spouse, the conversation shifted to my health and life. I could feel the genuine compassion. The questions were specific and supportive. I knew I was not alone. I had a brother who will always walk with me.
Talking about myself is not one of my favorite activities. Most of the time, I dislike it immensely! I was reminded in our conversation of how others have walked with me, carrying part of my load, helping me see what I otherwise would not. I remember. Because of their actions, I know Hope is alive. You and I can make a difference. We can walk with each other, doing what is needed. In and through all things, we are family.