I’ve been thinking a lot about my older brother lately. This is a man I have not had any sort of contact with since I was in my early 20’s. He no longer lives in California, and in truth, does not associate with most of the family. I don’t think this is really by design on his part, or on any of my sisters, but it is nonetheless how we are. And to be honest, I don’t care if he lives in a chicken shack somewhere in Kansas–I just don’t want to see him, or really even know about him.
So why am I thinking about him then? Because it bothers me that I don’t care about him. This is a person who is responsible for many of my literal and figurative scars, and many of my core woundings, and on the surface, that might even make sense–he doesn’t deserve to be cared for, right?
I know in my heart that isn’t the truth, and I’m trying to find a way through those feelings. I believe I’ve been through forgiveness for my brother, but I’m finding out that isn’t the same thing as love, though it is a part of it. I don’t feel like I love Tim, and I can’t imagine right now that I ever possibly could. How many times should I have to forgive him? Seventy times seven, I know, I know.
But how do I move on to love? I want to. It doesn’t feel right to have a vacuum in my heart when I think about a person. And that’s exactly how it feels. Forgiving is not forgetting, and I’d like more than anything to be able to forget and move on with things. Should I forget? Probably not. Certainly not, even. I know Jesus’ heart broke for me during the trying times, I know that in my own heart, and that truth has been part of my own healing journey with Him. And I suppose I even know in the abstract that Jesus’ heart broke for Tim as well.
There’s a reason somewhere for the boy he was, and the man he became. He has his own woundings, and scars, and all those things I have. We had the same parents and upbringing. Yet he got it a little more hardcore from my parents than I did–all I got was apathy to my existence. So what do I do?
Obviously, I need to ask Jesus about it, and this is certainly something to bring up during therapy. How does a man move from hate, to indifference, to forgiveness, to apathy, to love?
Do I simply try to remind myself that this person who so profoundly affected my life is also, like myself, someone Jesus died for? I’m sure that’s part of it. Is it OK not to love your brother? It doesn’t feel like it. How do I get healing for something that doesn’t really even feel like a wound most times? Can a heart be soft in some places, and hard in others? Have I really even forgiven? Can I be forgiven myself? Is there something within me that I need to ask Tim’s forgiveness for? What does brotherly love even feel like?
So much to pray about, and talk to Jesus about.
….sigh…I have better questions, than I have answers…