Sunday, September 6, 2009

Brothers and Sisters

I spoke with my big brother, Dan yesterday, just hearing his voice makes me smile. I feel embraced by Creator when we have time to visit or talk. We are both adopted into the same family, yet not blood related. I grew up knowing it is not blood that makes a family, but love. He lives three hours away and sometimes that distance stretches as long as a thousand miles. People are usually surprised to know that we are not "real" brother and sister. To me, our relationship has always seemed real, genuine. How much simpler, if the labels weren't so terribly important to us as people suffering from the human condition. We are all fallible, all finite on earth, blood related or not.

I have a sister not blood related and not raised in my family with me, yet she and I share the same kind of tie Dan and I do. She is family to me. I am sure you know what I'm talking about here. Who is your brother, your sister? I hope someone immediately comes to mind and thoughts of that person makes you smile and you wonder how you could have possibly gotten through life's battles without help from that person.

When I think of my friend Autumn, I am blessed. She makes me laugh with all her outrageous observations. Her quick intelligence is something I admire. Her loving heart is a comfort to me and others. If you ask her if she has made an impact on people's lives she would likely wrinkle her nose and shake her head no, she may even hold up her hands and say, "Probably not," while rolling her grey-green eyes. She is wrong of course but only because she doesn't see herself the way others see her. She has taken me under her wing at a time when everything around me was falling down, like a house built on shifting sand. These life-changes, death of both parents, abandonment in marriage, divorce, single parent-hood all in a handful of time have not chased her away. Instead she dug in her heels, rolled up her sleeves and we have gone on many road trips, including out to South Dakota to meet the rest of my family, grown in our faith, laughed, cried, racked up hours and hours on the phone, watched a summer of sunsets on the beach, and encouraged one another because as family, that's what we do.

Who are your brothers and sisters? Is it time you widen your family circle?

When Autumn, my brother, and I all drove out to South Dakota she put herself in a position where she was the minority. I recall a few experiences she had that evoked the way I felt growing up off the reservation. People stared and were suspicious of her because she was different from them. She said she went to a restaurant to eat when Dan and I were out doing something else, and she was ignored; invisible. I have watched her fearlessly ask people who they are and what they believe because she loves people.

Every human being has been placed on this earth for this moment and that connects us. We are all on the same journey whether or not we speak the same language, wear the same clothes, worship the same, or suffer and dream in the same way. Our common bond is the tie of the human race. Sometimes we are not so kind to each other and division comes, walls are built, lines are drawn in the sand, and with each construction ends another opportunity to love. If we are going to build, let's draw out some designs for bridges. Look at all the fantastic skyscrapers, cruise ships, mansions, castles, pyramids, and other marvels we are capable of building. Bridges? No problem.

Creator places a challenge before you to love, just love in your own limited way for an untold amount of time, without any known gratification in sight, just love for the sake of love. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all related. Look at others through the lens of love. Mitakuye Oyasin.

1 comment:

  1. I love what you've written here! It is strange, isn't it, the way we often seek communion with others through labels instead of words.