Am I my brother’s keeper?

By: Ms. O

I am all about quotes….not only to hear what people have to say…but  see what makes the “noteworthy list”. You know…the ones you repeat to your kids…that make them groan and roll their eyes…yep.

One of my favorite shows begins and ends their show with a quote. Many will judge me that this show is in my top picks. It is like a train wreck…horrible….and horrid…at the same time….but you can’t keep from watching it. It may also have to do with the stellar cast…and the wicked twists to the plot line…or all of the above…that makes Criminal Minds a show I record and watch…over….and over…again.

During one particular episode, the voice over quotes Bonaro Overstreet….

“We are not only our brother’s keeper; in countless large and small ways we are our brother’s maker. ”

….and it spoke to me…of the path I have chosen to follow…the calling that I answered…the impact of calling myself…a Christian.

I think about how many people I have met over the years…crossed paths with…work along side…and I wonder….in all sincerity…did I do enough? I don’t say that as some shallow “please tell me it ain’t so” comment…it comes from the heart…from a Holy Spirit driven conscience.

Perhaps because I know myself all too well. My deep sense of insecurity kept me tightly bound. It was not a case of being rude to others…it was more like holding back. If I compliment someone, does that put the spotlight on my own lacking? Sounds completely lame but so very true….for me that is.

Sure I am my brothers….(or sisters)…keeper…but for so long I felt that meant making sure no harm came to them. I did not want to dig deeper to see that meant so much more…that my attempts at being responsible for my brother or sister in Christ was so shallow that it might have done more harm than good.

It is time to listen to Paul’s words…don’t you just love Paul?? I mean really…he repeats himself over and over again…emphasizing the same message…in different ways….he might as well been a youth director.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Am I my brother's keeper?

I have read this passage so many times and so often wonder if Paul was speaking tongue in cheek here. Were they REALLY being encouraging to each other…building each other up…or was he basically calling them out….cause I think these words have haunted me more than once…or twice. There are times that I come away from a conversation thinking it was a positive one…only to hear this scripture in my head…and in my heart…and I wonder if it God telling me…”well that was a nice start Linda…but let’s try it with a little more Me…and a lot less holding back”…ugh.

Ultimately we are responsible for one another. God created us for community. There is such great joy to belong…to fit in…and not just adequately…but with perfection…as in the perfect way God created us to love…if we just do it.  It is my calling…as a Christian…to go the extra mile to make sure that no one is left behind. Is that possible? I can’t fathom that happening…but if I don’t try then how will I ever know?

In big ways…and small…we are our brothers/sisters keeper…and maker…builder…encourager…so let’s act like it. For some of us…insert me… that means working hard on releasing our fears…and letting God…who is much bigger than anything we are struggling with…to work in and through us…to further His kingdom.

Mercy, I grew up with two sisters…and two brothers…what’s a few…dozen…hundred…more? I have always loved having a big family….what is a few dozen…hundred…more?

Amen….and amen.