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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Love stories come in various shapes and sizes. And speaking of size, our family was a large one with seven kids. The perspective from the sixth position is one of always looking up.

I looked up to my brother Paul as the first-born boy, but also because God had given him a lot of wisdom from his early years.

In the era of my youth, sports were often a huge part of a boy’s life. Paul was a rock star. He could throw a football and lead a team and he would score 25 in a basketball game as a point guard for our high school.

But Paul wasn’t just a jock. Paul was gifted in many areas. He was a reader, a thinker, and above all, a listener and a counselor.

There were countless times as a pre-teen and then as an adolescent where I’d walk down the hall, turn right in to his bedroom, cross diagonally toward his desk and kind of park myself next to him and talk…and talk…and talk.

Sure, girls and relationships would become an increasing part of the mix. Even in this delicate area, he seemed to come up with sound advice.

He became my dad’s understudy and he would eventually become an All-Star father of five.

A few years later, we would keep up this brotherly dialogue as he’d take me back to college in his VW Bug through snowstorms and all sorts of weather. He always seemed to be a quick-study on personalities and bents. This knack made me feel very secure. Whether it was in his room, his Beetle, or later, over long distance calls, talking with Paul was as safe as a confessional booth.

My heart sunk my senior year in college when Paul was transferred to California. Ma Bell would have to do. She certainly cooperated and since then, we have probably logged over 1,000 hours easily; maybe a few thousand at that.

Through the years, we even celebrated our birthdays together – me on February 15 and he on the sixteenth. Now, we have it on the same day. Here’s how it’s done. I call him after midnight from the east coast so it’s his birthday here and still my birthday on the west coast.

Today, he celebrates his sixty-third birthday and nothing has changed over those many decades. He still is an All-Star with his ears and his heart. And that is certainly not limited to me. Oh, I still lean on him for his counsel. But I also see how he guides his children and offers these same qualities to so many.

My portal to heaven regarding my brother is how God will put someone who acts as His surrogate-of-sortsIMG_1299 into our life so as to prepare us for those same kind of conversations with Himself.

It’s funny. The opposite gender still comes up as we are both married and have eight girls between us. Sports and politics make their way in as easily as cars merge onto highways from ramps.

But appropriately enough, our talks have shifted over the years to our experiences with God and His walk with us. It only makes sense. After all, it was He who placed Paul just a few steps down the hall, to the right and diagonally across.

“Love one another with brotherly affection.”

Paul (the other one…The Apostle) from Romans 12:10

 

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