We have just enjoyed another Michigan snowfall. It is beautiful outside. All the pine trees are holding snow. I spoke to a group of men last Saturday morning. On my way to the meeting the snow was falling thick and beautiful. I don’t know why people would want to live in Arizona or Florida when they could enjoy such beauty.
I just left my brother Nathan’s house. I don’t know how I could ever give in to discouragement as long as he is around. He should have been named Barnabas he is such a gifted encourager. When I left, he warmly welcomed me to visit again even though I left a huge mess in his front yard.
The road was slick and heavy with snow. Trying to get a run at his hilly driveway I got a little “off.” You should see the crater a fifteen-passenger van makes when you half-bury it in the front yard and then wallow around for a while. For natural beauty he will have to look over into his neighbor’s yards for a while, probably until sometime next summer. Maybe his turf will heal itself by then. That is, of course, if I keep off the grass. I just hope none of his kids drop into the hole, they won’t find them until spring.
Despite heroic efforts, I never did get the van up the driveway. I just left it sitting sideways in the drive and came in for a visit. I was drinking coffee and talking with my brother for a while when his wife, Jennifer looked out the window and said, “Looks like the van moved a little from where you left it.”
When I looked out the van was gone from where I left it. Sure enough that tub had slid down the hill until it came to rest almost in the street. Why do things like this happen to me?
My brother could have been upset or cross. He could have said mean things or made fun of me. He could have banished me from his kingdom. He could have billed me for the damage, but he laughed. We just stood there together just laughed.
As long as my little brother is alive I know I will have someone who will listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me, celebrate with me, believe in me and forgive me when I do stupid things. That means a lot. I feel bad for you if you don’t have someone in your life like my little brother, Nathan. When people are in need of encouragement and they have been handled roughly by their world, I want them to think that if they can just get to me the sun will shine again.
Riverfront Character Inn
January 10, 2005